What was your challenge that you wished to address through mentoring?
I joined the program right after promotion to managerial position. My challenge was to step into that role with good preparation and support from my mentor. I wanted to give as much effort as possible to this experience to check whether this role is for me and if this is the direction I want to choose for my career development. Major part of our mentoring sessions was discussing team management as that was my biggest challenge. We were talking about real life situations but also discussing concepts from books, TED talks and podcasts.
How did mentoring help you?
It was really helpful to have support form an experienced manager that has an external perspective. My mentor was a person I could reach out to not only in problematic situations in my team, but also to have brainstorming sessions about new ideas to implement. Thanks to that in those first months I felt more confident in the role, as I knew I can always reach out to my mentor. Moreover my development was much more intense thanks to his suggestions for interesting books and videos and our discussions about them.
What would say to people who consider becoming mentees?
It’s always good to give it a try, but you have to have some kind of a goal. Mine wasn’t very specific but it gave us lot of topics to talk about. So if your goal gives you at least a few topics to talk about with your mentor then it’s worth applying. Also it’s good to be as specific as possible in application form to make sure your mentor will be a good fit for you. Be ready to give some time to the program (eg. to read a book, do some research, listen to the podcast), as preparation for the sessions is useful and makes the conversation much more valuable.