‘Having to figure things out alone cost me time’
This is a sentence I wrote in my journal just under a year ago. I was at a career crossroads, completely unsure of what to do next. I was frustrated because when I finally started to make realisations I knew I could have made them sooner had I spoken to the right people.
I think a big mistake a lot of us make, myself included is following this idea of having to figure things out by ourselves. When actually that’s not the best strategy. You can progress so much quicker in your career by having the right people around you to support you, guide you and ultimately to champion you when you need it. That is what mentorship means to me. It’s having that someone or several people in your life who you can go to and be unapologetically yourself and know that there is no judgement on the other side.
There are different forms of mentorship, both internal and external which you can avail of and depending on what your goals are you may choose one over the other or possibly a combination of the two. In this blog, I am going to focus on external mentoring as this is what we are focused on at Rise Up Women.
Personally, I think the real value in having a mentor outside of your immediate work or personal life circle is the impartialness and unbiased opinion. An external mentor doesn’t care about your past, where you’ve come from or any relationships in your personal or professional life. They care about you, your potential, your future success and that’s’ it.
They tell us the truth because they’ve nothing to gain by fabricating it and they’re not afraid to hurt our feelings or challenge us in a way that our closer circle may not feel comfortable to do. There is also huge comfort in feeling like you are in a safe space where you can be completely open and vulnerable with another human being. The joy of feeling heard is very real.
In today’s world of portfolio careers, external support systems and networks matter.. a lot! We change companies and roles all the time that the only constant in all of this is us. Therefore it’s crucial that alongside spending your days working to deliver the best results for your employer, you prioritise time for you and your future success. Employers can help support you on this journey but ultimately this is your responsibility. If we don’t take the time to do this, we can find ourselves going around in circles or not moving at all. The most common phrase I hear from women and men when it comes to a certain point in their careers is ‘I feel stuck.’
So think about what you can do today that your future self will thank you for. Start putting time in your diary each week to contemplate on the start up of you. (great book/highly recommend) Set yourself some goals and then seek out people who can help you achieve these goals.
Mentoring is known to be one of fastest ways to excel career development, but finding the right mentor can be bloody hard (and awkward!) We want to help make this easier for you. By finding the best matched mentors that will help you accelerate your career. Sign up to our newsletter today to find out more about our upcoming mentorship programs.