As we approach the end of National Mentoring Month, we hear from guest blogger Sheryl Giffis, a mentee in JVS' WoMentoring™ program. JVS and the WoMentoring program have helped redefine my relationship to the world of work. I have a new passion for career development and for helping others find meaningful work in empowering environments.
I am in the midst of transitioning to career coaching and counseling and I wanted a mentor who could help me navigate the waters of being self-employed doing work I love with people I respect.
Like a coach, a mentor is a directive guide and advisor, but she is so much more. JVS matched me with Diana L. Ho, a management consultant.
One of the reasons Diana’s mentoring is so powerful is that she reaches out to me with ideas designed to expand my thinking and awareness. I am used to being the one who generates, but according to Diane Shapiro, manager of WoMentoring™, a mentoring relationship, is designed to foster the professional development of the mentee. Diana and I have also spent social time over coffee and meals, which has given us a fun way to connect and share ideas. Diana appreciates when I share resources that are new to her.
Every woman would benefit from having a WoMentor!
Here are some benefits I have experienced:
- Hands-on “fieldwork”: I get to go on ride-alongs with Diana, which allow me access to her professional world and has opened up a sense of what’s possible for me. For example, she gave me the opportunity to shadow her interviewing the CEOs of a start-up she was advising. I have witnessed the diversity of the kind of management consulting she does, understanding how I might operate in such a capacity, in ways I might not have otherwise imagined.
- · Modeling. Not the high fashion type, but the down-to-earth, real world, “here’s how I do what I do, see if it works for you” variety. I model what works for my life and business. Diana helps me think about my clients, my systems, my value offering and business style and how to structure my days.
- · Accountability and women power. I was intimidated at first because our backgrounds are so different: Diana has a strong business background with an MBA, and I come from the entertainment industry with a graduate degree in psychology. How could I do what she does? But we meet in a lot of areas of commonality, such as financial responsibility for women, women’s professionalism, the need for a strong work-life balance and boundaries, community service, and the importance of communication and strategic thinking.
Diana is a very generous mentor with her wisdom and expertise, and I am grateful to JVS for being able to work with her.