This evening, one of my mentees from the University of Washington called me so excited with delight about having gotten a second round job interview with a local consulting company that she's been dying to get a job with. (Side note: this mentee of mine is AWESOME - when I first met her, I saw a bright shiny sparkling person with a great future ahead of her. I wanted to do everything I could and tell her everything I knew to help her get there.) i reviewed her resume, her cover letter, there were emails flying back and forth the past couple of weeks, she got the first round interview for today, she prepped and prepped, we texted back and forth.... and she moves onto the second round! LEVEL UP! (I was hardly surprised - seriously, this young woman is going to kick butt no matter where she lands).
Then it hit me... I am so on her team! I was reminded about this thing I came up with, "Team Arry". I've always had a circle of good people around me, to turn to, watching out for me. It wasn't until maybe a couple years into my very first corporate job at Microsoft that I realized that I needed a "Team Arry". A brain trust of people that were more experienced, smarter, wiser, more successful than I could ever imagine to be. At that point, I wasn't getting it from the manager I reported into at work - I needed to make sure I was getting it somewhere. I had to be proactive about it. And so, I did - I've grown the brain trust of people I turn to for feedback, suggestions, thoughts. Not just professional mentors - mentors on the various life stages, on being a strong woman, on maintaining my woman-ness even while working in technology, the world of startups, taking care of my financial commitments and goals, etc... My mother has taken a grand seat at the table of "Team Arry" too - more and more so as I grow up. It pains me sometimes, but my mother always has a way of calling it, telling me what I don't want to hear even though it's the right thing to do.
Image Credit: jscreationzs
Being safely vulnerable. "Team Arry" isn't only about mentoring and being mentored. Having a close relationship with your braintrust - and growing that relationship over time is sort of like growing a community of people that know you, can speak about you and your character, and can vouch for you. "Team Arry" supports me no matter what - I expose my innards, my fears, my troubles to them - and they are the ones that strategically advise me, back me up, and support me.
I love mentoring. If you aren't already, take the opportunity to join another person's "Team" - and serve them. It feels amazing to be thinking about another person's well being, helping them optimize their opportunities, helping be a part of shaping their future and being a part of making their dreams come true.