My Mentor Changed My Life

mentoring

Photo Credit: Aila Images/Shutterstock

We hear and read, time and time again, that mentors are important in helping us advance our careers and climb the corporate ladder. I always found this to be interesting yet confusing, because I never really understood where I was supposed to find this mentor meant to help me.

And then, one day, I did — and he literally changed the course of my entire life.

I never really understood where I was supposed to find this mentor meant to help me. And then, one day, I did — and he literally changed the course of my entire life.

Before I became a life coach, I used to work at a Fortune 50 pharmaceutical company in information technology (IT). It was a great role, but I had aspirations for changing careers and moved to marketing because I really wanted to make a bigger impact in healthcare and be closer to the ground floor. Making a move like this proved to be challenging because I was pigeonholed as an  IT person, leading to the following questions:

* Would I "get" it?

* Was I creative enough?

* Did I understand business?

* Was I too techie?

* Would I get along with people?

* What were my interpersonal skills like?

The list went on and on.

Even though I had a background in business, had met most of the job requirements, and was actively pursuing an MBA, I kept hitting roadblocks.

All of that came to an end when I had a heartfelt conversation with the VP of my department — sharing my career aspirations, why I wanted to do what I wanted, and didn’t know how to move forward.

That 30-minute conversation changed the rest of my life.

From Boss to Mentor — and Friend

He instantly went from my VP — with whom I delivered multimillion dollar projects with significant cost savings for six+ years — to my mentor and sponsor, who was ready to support me and my career goals.

Because of my credibility in his organization and the fact that I had done such a great job for him over the years, he created a special marketing project that allowed me to work in marketing for six months while he paid for my head count from IT.

This was the shot that I was waiting for. By having this opportunity, I got on-the-job training that no MBA could ever teach, plus marketing experience with results that I could prove and add to my resume. I demonstrated to the organization and myself that I was, in fact, a marketer at heart and could achieve any goal I ever set.

What came next was something I couldn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams. I started applying for marketing positions and landed my dream role as a Digital Healthcare Marketer for a consumer-packaged goods company for a world-renowned mouthwash brand that I personally used and admired.

I had officially arrived as a marketer. And, because my mentor was so instrumental in my life, I decided to actively become a mentor, as well.

I connected with several employee-resource groups in order to help support colleagues who were in need of guidance in their careers. In addition, I joined a recruiting organization where I had the opportunity to introduce new talent to the organization, mentor them through the interview process, and once hired, onboard them to the company.

Through the years, I realized my true passion is mentoring men and women in their personal lives and that’s why I became a life coach. I’m excited about what’s next for me, which includes writing a book, launching a group coaching program, and a podcast: Happily Divorced and Thriving.

This post is part of a month-long January CircleAround series in which we asked writers to explore the topic "New Year, New You." After an extremely challenging year like no other, if you had to reinvent yourself in one specific way in 2021 based on what you learned in the pandemic, what would you do? Think of it as a New Year’s resolution on steroids. To see all the posts in the series, visit here. And if you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to info@circlearound.com or post on our "2021 Vibes Wall."

CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves adult women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

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