Written by Stephanie Draker
We’ve all been there. Trying to learn a new concept, approach a new project or advance in our career, but not sure where to start.
Working in the art and culture sector has brought on unique opportunities that equally filled me with excitement and anxiety about potential growth, challenges and risks. You learn quickly what your weaknesses are in some situations. What can be more difficult is defining and building on your strengths when faced with a seemingly winding path ahead of you.
I’ve been fortunate to have had several mentors in my professional life who were integral to my career trajectory – some of them were formal arrangements, some were organic and casual, others didn’t even realize they were mentoring me! All of them shared several characteristics:
My mentors were willing to share their wisdom, knowledge, skills and expertise
They helped me find opportunities in the challenges I was facing
They were genuinely concerned about me and my success
My mentors were also looking for professional development opportunities for themselves!
Far from being a one-sided experience, these relationships were great opportunities for each of us to grow. They helped build confidence in my ability to develop new skills while my mentors exercised their ability to lead.
Mentors are an important source of advice. In the role of mentee, I’ve learned how to clarify my growth objectives over time and communicate where I need support. They motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and explore areas I had not considered – most often because they have been there and they know what worked and what didn’t!
And it’s never been about telling me what I should do, or just offering me a roadmap. My best mentors have given advice on how I can navigate what lies ahead. I chose the route.
Interested in knowing what mentoring could mean for you?
Read about our new pilot, Growing Earned Revenue Mentoring Program and find out if it’s right for you. Deadline to apply is February 28, 2017.
Sign up for our mailing list to learn about other mentoring opportunities as they arise.