I started my career in the secretarial profession right out of high school. I started as a Receptionist for Alcan Aluminum in Cleveland, OH. I always had my eyes set on working for a President or CEO someday so I decided to closely observe any executive assistant’s behaviors, actions, attitudes, and processes. I listened to how they handled difficult people, walked through the halls with grace and poise, dressed like a real business professional, and admired their ease in handling stressful situations. Over several years, I watched top-notch assistants in various companies until I soon became one. The thing is . . . those ladies never knew I was watching and listening to them so closely; they were an invisible mentor and inspiration.
Our conference attendees thought it was important to mentor in order to add value.
Mentoring, in its most basic form, is one person teaching another. Mentoring relationships often develop on an informal basis, as a result of one person working closely with another person. Any working relationship has the potential to be a mentoring situation.
As a mentor . . .
- share your wisdom with a fellow employee, which will teach you the skill of training through explaining how to do certain tasks. You will also master the art of coaching through offering constructive criticism. These are skills that organizations are seeking, skills you will need to succeed in the workplaces of today and tomorrow.
- set an example of professionalism: demonstrate a strong work ethic to a mentee who is eager to follow your lead. By showing your mentee the right way to do things, you help your company create a more qualified team of employees and show you are a team player.
- be prepared to give and take. For a mentor, that may mean being patient and juggling a hectic schedule while answering questions your mentee will undoubtedly have.