My mentoring relationship was never official. Some things in life just happen, so with enough time on the right roads, bumps and all, the right people finally appear. You know the ones I’m talking about: the authentic, the caring, and the selfless. These are people who have no ulterior motive in their attempt to guide you. They promise to walk alongside the path upon which you embark, because they’ve been there too and they want to help.
My mentor’s name is Angela. She and I have been colleagues for the last 16 years. We came up through the ranks together, and without her ever needing to roll into work wearing a “Beth’s Mentor” T-shirt, her role as a trusted advisor became blatantly apparent.
Our friendship, trust, and mutual understanding has blossomed with time. I know that when I’m facing a complex business process, Angela will provide me with clarity. She will tell me if I’m off base, or more candidly, ask me if I’ve slept in the last 8 hours because only an idiot would have really just asked that.
And you know what? Her advice is invaluable. Angela has earned the right to speak with me because I know she’s got my back. In turn, she knows I have hers. It is a beautiful and reciprocal arrangement and yet, it has never needed to be defined. Wikipedia tries nonetheless: “Mentoring” is a process that always involves communication and is relationship based, but its precise definition is elusive.”
Don’t let a potential mentor elude you. Sometimes the right person could appear simply because you need them.