I have been writing and studying and talking about mentoring for over 20 years and yet I have a confession. By the end of 2014 I was a little burned out on the topic of mentoring. I kind had the feeling like I had been there, done that and was even thinking of diving into a new area of research which felt like cheating on my literature!
However, when I got breast cancer at the end of 2014, something weird happened. I discovered all over again that mentoring really works, really matters and I have changed my focus or shall I say I have integrated my personal experience into my professional life.
I found out that all my skills in how to get a mentor actually helped me accept my new role as a cancer patient, get, through the onerous treatment year, and come out the other side as a survivor (https://ellenensher.com/how-mentoring-and-networking/ I am starting to talk about this idea more with my students and in front of clients.
Along these lines, I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Stephanie Bouchard for the Healthcare Financial Management Association (https://www.hfma.org/here/ ) about connecting with mentors, with particularly an emphasis on tips for professional women. Bourchard shared great advice from mentoring experts including Kathy Kram, Wendy Murphy, and yours truly. I am so happy to see that the whole idea of getting a network of mentors has really gained traction. Here is my favorite quote from the article:
Women have many roles in life
Those roles are constantly changing- now a new mother, now a new manager- now running a school fund-raiser for the first time, now a cancer patient, now running a department, etc.
“As we go through life, we’re going to keep having new challenges. We have to keep learning, growing, and developing personally and professionally. Any time we have to take on a new role, personally as well as professionally, use your professional skills and get yourself a team of mentors to get through that new role.”
I can guarantee you that s-h-i-t will keep happening and you will learn to embrace new roles that you never in your wildest dreams ever imagined, some wonderful and some kind of awful. And yet, knowing how to get a network of mentors is like a superpower than can help you navigate through. Mentoring works. Mentoring matters. I know this for sure.
For more tips, here is a link to Stephanie Bouchard’s great article