National Mentoring Day

Mentors are truly magnificent people who share their time, energy and experience with someone else. They guide and encourage, they challenge and confront, but most of all they support and listen.

My first real mentor was an ex-boss. He gave me my first job as a graduate and watched out for me as I progressed through the ranks of a multinational, eventually reaching the Marketing Director role that he was in when he employed me.

Throughout the intervening fifteen years, he was a sounding board and provided a fresh perspective when I couldn’t see the wood from the trees. But most of all it was his belief in me, as an inexperienced young woman, straight out of university, that I most appreciated. His unwavering belief in my potential helped me gain confidence until I, too, believed in me.

Many people I meet, say they have never had a mentor. If this is true, then they have truly missed out on something special. I suspect, though, that they actually have had people support and guide them, they just haven’t thought to us the label of ‘mentor’. Equally, I believe that there are people who may be thought of as a mentor by another, without ever realising the depth of impact that their words of encouragement or advice, might have had.

On National Mentoring Day, it’s a great time to pause and reflect. Who have been, and are, the mentors in your life? What have they contributed and what was their legacy? Isn’t it time you acknowledged them or expressed your gratitude? Make their day with a thank you, big or small.

And don’t underestimate your own capacity to touch someone’s life in a profound way.  Is there someone you could provide mentorship to? There is almost nothing more rewarding than knowing you have truly helped someone reach their potential.

Life is short, do it today!

Melissa Richardson