“As a mentee, I have found that embracing my mentor match with excitement and openness creates a safe space for honest, authentic conversations and connections with my mentor about work, life, and relationships. Having a mentor who challenged me with thoughtful, candid conversations about my goals and my professional growth was inspiring and created a meaningful connection between us.”
Happy National Mentoring Month! Every January, we celebrate the incredible impact that mentorship makes on each and every one of us. Mentorship is a tangible, reciprocal relationship, impacting both individuals and helping women see they are not alone on their journeys. Mentorship empowers women to achieve both their personal and professional goals.
Julie and Kate, both members of the Pass the Torch Community, share their stories of mentorship and how it has benefited their careers and personal lives. Read below to find out more about their mentoring relationship, how mentorship empowers them in their day-to-day lives, and how you can embrace mentorship in your own life!
Kate Miller, Developing Leader:
My experience as a mentee with Pass The Torch for Women has been incredibly impactful and insightful for me. Having a supportive space to match with mentors who hold leadership positions and have had incredible successes in their professional and personal lives and give back through mentorship is powerful and I am thankful to be a part of Pass the Torch for Women. Mentorship empowers!
As a mentee, I have found that embracing my mentor match with excitement and openness creates a safe space for honest, authentic conversations and connections with my mentor about work, life, and relationships. Having a mentor who challenged me with thoughtful, candid conversations about my goals and my professional growth was inspiring and created a meaningful connection between us. My mentor has given me great insight on work related projects, personal advice on raising a family, and even showed up at an event to support my work. This mentorship is a relationship that has so much significance in my life and I am grateful for it.
As a mentee, I have been able to share my challenges, fears and my hopes with my mentor – this is something I have found is unique to a mentorship relationship. Communication is key, and I it should come naturally and with ease if you develop trust with your mentor/mentee. For example, sharing your communication preferences and style, and working to create a steady flow of communications that are in person, email, phone and text, or whatever is most preferred. These days, having the ability to share information, stories, videos, photos and more with a mentor is a powerful tool to help develop your relationship and share your passions, interests and your life with each other. I know this mentorship with Julie has been incredibly special, and I hope to have many more in the future with Pass the Torch!
Julie Minner, Volunteer Mentor:
Like in any relationship, good chemistry is a bonus. And my mentee, Kate Miller, and I had that “good chemistry” vibe right out of the gate. I think we both entered the situation with an open heart and an open mind. In a mentoring situation, I believe having raw and honest conversations is what yields the greatest value.
From a mentee standpoint, your goal should be to listen, learn, and grow. Of course, receiving positive feedback on your accomplishments feels good too, but you’ve got your boss, co-workers and family for that! Instead of pats on the back, you should hope for the tough messages, the words of wisdom from someone with a different background and with different skills, and heartfelt advice for whatever challenges and opportunities you face, both today and in your future. Bring on those dreams, and have your mentor help you figure out your potential paths to making them into reality!
The best thing mentors can offer their mentees is full access to their heart, their mind, and their calendar in an approachable and caring manner. Most of all, have your contact list rolling through your brain at all times. People connecting people is the most powerful gift of all!
Kate and I immediately bonded over some commonalities as mothers, and our relationship quickly moved from high level chit-chat to a very long list of actionable items, for both of us! I joined Pass the Torch because I love to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life and career. I learned through personal experiences on the job and in day-to-day life, and how cool is it to get to share that with others, so they have the opportunity to learn without the headaches and heartaches of experiencing it themselves.
In the end, I’m not sure who truly was the mentee in our situation. I think I have grown from what I’ve learned from Kate as much as she’s grown from me. Finding connections like Kate and I found is very special. We will definitely stay connected, and we will both continue to learn and grow from each other. Best of all, I get to stand on the sidelines and cheer her on as she chases her dreams. How lucky am I? Kudos to Pass the Torch for bringing us together!
Want to share your story of how mentorship empowers you and those around you on the Pass the Torch for Women blog? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!