Mentoring: it’s personal

Mentoring. A funny concept, full of hope and opportunity and growth.
I’ve had many mentors over the years, for different purposes, all sprung from various circumstances.
My first, an old professor from University, recruited me to mark exam papers and sort projects. From the outside looking in, an effusive woman with more energy than a red-bull. And the inside? well, let me tell ya… she can organize like nobodys business. Seems that teaching 8 courses every semester must be one of those do or perish deals. I learned alllllll about colour coding and the value of personalized attendance/name cards. Sure it sounds simple, but the implementation is no Sunday morning. Detail oriented? Oh yes, I get that from her.
Moreover, she inspired my passion for diversity and inclusion. It was her brilliant mind that pushed me to consider that hey, I think this is what I want my career to revolve around. THIS sounds right. A priceless gift and to this day, I’m very thankful.
Want to know the ironic part? at the time, I didn’t have an understanding of what mentoring was; Not until a few years later when I looked back at my resume. Retrospect comes in handy.
Mentoring is more than learning tricks of the job. It’s about making personal connections, embracing new points of view, and adopting values to which you can aspire. A heady epiphany that was and you can bet that it took me awhile to realize.
Since then, I’ve established various relationships and goals. A few evolved and others fell by the wayside, yet somehow I’ve managed to maintain a steady track towards where I want to be. Mentoring, networking, learning, they all roll up into the same bag.
Recently, I’ve taken a networking approach to job hunting and it’s opened up my world in ways I hadn’t dreamed of considering.
I’ve been invited to events, attended interviews, and met people from all parts of the globe.
No, it hasn’t gotten me a job just yet but one thing I’ve learned and come to honestly appreciate is that the journey really is more important. Focusing on the “find work” part makes things tricky, so if you get anything out of my meager wisdom, let it be that you should network, regardless of your employment status. Always. Keep an open mind, invite change, and regret nothing.
In fact, since August when I was notified of my contract termination, I’ve seen so much that I am relieved to not have found a job immediately. At first I was afraid… I was petrified (Oh come now, what’s a blog without some corny pop culture reference!) but then I realized that its allowed me time to branch out, process experiences and discover what they mean to me. From that, I feel more confident than ever before, and I’ve found an identity which I wasn’t even aware needed to be unleashed. I know this all sounds like a wild child gone corporate, but I promise you my story is true. Really!
So where do I go from here?
Well, currently I’m part of my University Alumni association and am helping to organize an upcoming mentorship event. Challenging, but in a most exhilarating way!
Meanwhile, I’ve signed on as a mentee to a highly qualified and knowledgeable mentor, all arranged by the HRPA. This will be my first official mentor, with regularly scheduled meetings etc, so I’m very much looking forward to the experience.
Beyond that, who knows? Though I am sure it will be enlightening, and full of surprises.

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Pop (goes the balloon) Art

POP Art

Diversity at its finest- The art exhibit I encountered en route to the HRPA Conference last month. I love how the colours and textures vary so much in such a small frame! Reminds me of Toronto and our cultural collage

How big is your glass?

Hi! Welcome to my blog, where I’ll be sharing my insights, conundrums and qualms. I’ve been around the HR block a few times so know a thing or two, but there is plenty left to learn so consider yourself invited to witness my evolution as a perpetual student. You may see the occasional “life” post as well, just to keep things fresh of course.
I try to stay positive as much as possible, and believe in approaching things with an open mind. Sometimes that falls through, and I try to be the first to admit that… if you catch me defaulting let me know, please!
Keeping a fresh perspective is important to me, as I am working towards a career focusing on Diversity & Inclusion, Engagement, Wellness, and Training.
One day, I hope to be an expert in all of the above. Until then, I’ll make do with the tools I have at hand… such as blogging!

I’ll end my debut with this thought… When someone asks me if my glass is half full or half empty, I tell them neither! It’s all about fit- try a different glass 🙂