KICK ON WITH THE HELP OF A MEN­TOR

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - CLASSIFIEDS -

WHAT­EVER your in­dus­try, se­nior­ity or goals, a men­tor can be the ex­tra in­gre­di­ent that gives your ca­reer the kick it needs.

Men­tors can play a range of roles, from be­ing a sound­ing board for re­solv­ing is­sues to an en­dorse­ment when ap­ply­ing for pro­mo­tion. They also can serve to broaden your per­spec­tive and in­spire with their own ex­pe­ri­ence.

Se­rial men­tor Jodi Fullar­ton-Healy, gen­eral coun­sel for in­ter­na­tional and in­sti­tu­tional bank­ing at ANZ, says find­ing a men­tor needn’t be daunt­ing.

“Just ask some­one if you can have a cof­fee with them,” she says.

“You don’t have to ask them out on a men­tor date. Say ‘I re­ally ad­mire you and think what you have done with x, y, z is great and I would love the ben­e­fit of your ideas’.

“Some­times it’s one cof­fee or you might say ‘this has been re­ally good, could we catch up again?’.”

Fullar­ton-Healy met her mentee, Sales­force so­lu­tion engi­neer So­phie Wil­son, af­ter they sat next to each other at a Women in Bank­ing and Fi­nance lunch about five years ago, when they both worked for ANZ. Fullar­ton-Healy asked if she could have a copy of Wil­son’s notes and Wil­son took the op­por­tu­nity to form a con­nec­tion. Wil­son says their re­la­tion­ship grew from there.

“When I first met Jodi I was in a rather ju­nior po­si­tion and nat­u­rally re­ally mo­ti­vated and try­ing to move for­ward, so hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to speak to some­body with that ex­pe­ri­ence and wis­dom and knowl­edge of how things work was in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful,” she says. “She helped me get my first big pro­mo­tion ... and more re­cently she has en­cour­aged me to take some risks in my ca­reer.”

No­rah Breekveldt, prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant of strate­gic lead­er­ship firm Ben­delta, says many of the best men­tor­ing re­la­tion­ships grow or­gan­i­cally.

The au­thor of Me and My Men­tor: How men­tor­ing su­per­charged the ca­reers of 11 ex­tra­or­di­nary women, says there is no one way to go about it.

“It’s about look­ing for some­one you re­ally ad­mire and whose per­spec­tive you re­ally value,” she says.

“You can have a fab­u­lous for­mal struc­tured pro­gram, but if you are matched with the wrong men­tor, it’s not go­ing to be ef­fec­tive. “Find a men­tor (with whom) you feel com­fort­able talk­ing through your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties as well as suc­cesses.”

Men­tors do not have to be from your or­gan­i­sa­tion or even your in­dus­try, and you can have more than one.

“There is no for­mula or recipe for suc­cess in men­tor­ing,” Breekveldt says.

So­phie Wil­son, left, and men­tor Jodi Fullar­ton-Healy first met at a lunch when they both worked at ANZ. Pic­ture: LAWRENCE PIN­DER

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