Monday, September 22, 2014

Part 1: Mentoring - Purpose

The industry I work in is dominated by men. This isn't a bad thing, it is just the reality. The industry and the major firms in the market have all tried to evolve this fact but it is going to take more time. 

Super cool definition and image by United Purpose

So throughout my career I have actively sought out mentoring relationships. Some have happened very naturally with senior partners who took the time to show interest in my professional growth and development. Others, I have had to seek, stalk and continually build. Those ones take a lot more energy but are still fruitful. In my 10+ years at my firm, I have had a few really solid mentors and two of them are women. Considering 93% of my peers in San Diego are men, I am very lucky to have any female mentors. 

As I progress in my career, I still need coaching and guidance. Recently I enrolled in an online mentorship program. With hesitation but also with hope. The program is more general about key milestones in any solid career and typical challenges women have in pursuing a corporate career. It isn't specific to what I do, but I think that actually might be a positive thing. So for the next few weeks I am going to be doing this online program and sharing my major takeaways from the experience. 

The first week's lesson is all about Purpose. There were some specific videos and exercises to cover including values, self awareness and support system. 

Defining personal values and seeing how they align or don't align with the corporate values. This exercise has been really positive. We all know we have values and beliefs at our core but taking the time to write them down, reflect and apply those values to how I spend my time was very beneficial. 

The program also talks about this concept of self awareness and being honest with yourself and others about if we are living the life we want to. Hmmm. Now that one slowed me down a bit. We all have a myriad of inspirations, motivations and selfish ways we want to live our life. The key is to identify those very personal motivations and incorporate them in an authentic way into our career. Fascinating. After some time, I see I have naturally done some of this, but there is a lot more I can do to achieve purpose professionally while still satisfying my personal purpose. 

The component about creating a support system seems so obvious yet absolutely 
necessary. That support system can't just be a list of people who help you, it has to all tie back into your purpose. That link is what makes it all click. 

I am looking forward to week 2. 

Happy Monday!!! 

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