Posted: 28 Feb. 2018 5 min. read

The great importance of mentors in my career journey

Molly Parker, an Analyst within Tech Consulting, talks to us about how having a mentor helped with both her personal and professional life.

I’ve always believed that everyone needs a role model in life, a true and inspiring life coach who can lead us towards getting exactly where we want. I feel that a person who can think objectively about someone is the best life coach one can have. Encouragement without criticism means too little when talking about achieving life, but also career goals.

For me, my first mentor was my Business Management Lecturer at University. He was understanding, generous with his time, and had a spirited enthusiasm for teaching. He instilled in me the confidence to defy the typical young doubt that shrouded me, and be what I wanted to be. In those days, I recognised him simply as a fantastic lecturer. Today I realise he was more than that, he was my mentor – that person who inspired me to go further and don’t be afraid to get any opportunity I can, even though that included sacrifices. I’ve learnt that there’s no excuse if I really want to achieve something important for me.

To be really honest, I don’t think I would be where I am today if it had not been for his encouragement, but also for his criticism. My capabilities were already there, but he restored in me a newer love for the field, cast light on my potential, and cleverly nudged me in the right direction - that’s not something easily taught. Learning is more than gaining new knowledge or skills, otherwise, books and technology would teach us everything we need to know. Mentors guide, inspire, and they look out for you.

Mentors matter in lifelong learning, and continual career development. Today in my role at Deloitte, the impact of my mentor in moving my career forward is multi-faceted.

Alongside my training, my mentor helps develop my performance as I progress. She’s someone I turn to for support on any issues that affect my work and progress. And together she has helped me continually set and achieve my goals. Reviewing my progress and gaining feedback allows me to keep challenging myself and stay on track towards my destination. I’m given invaluable direction and options, but it’s up to me to fulfil them.

As a woman in my industry, having a female mentor has been an inspiration. It’s hard to become what you can’t see, and seeing my mentor flying a high career: leading teams, boardroom meetings, and projects, reminds me there’s no reason why I can’t achieve the same and beyond.

Think about your mentors and don’t hesitate to try different careers in your life, you never know which one will be the perfect one for you if you don’t try.

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