That I have the job I have today -- my dream job, a job I would have never imagined having a year ago -- is partially due to a couple of really amazing women investing (and believing) in me. Both women are slightly older than me, more influential, more powerful, more experienced, smarter, busier, oh and infinitely wiser. They didn't have to spend time with me guiding, advising, listening to me yammer endlessly, guiding gently.
But they did. And I am beyond thankful, as the fact that they did was instrumental in literally changing the course of my life, how I spend my working hours, how I feel about work, how my girls view what I do everyday. I don't exaggerate when I say it was monumental.
I think when someone gives you that gift of their time and energy, their knowledge and advice, you are bound to pay it forward. When you are blessed enough to have a mentor (no matter how informal the set-up), I think it's only right that you mentor someone else in return (again, even if it's a totally informal enterprise). There's just something necessary and essential about this idea of helping someone become the best version of herself, don't you think?
I loved reading about Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass' mentor/mentee relationship in the WSJ. Magazine... especially this:
"He's been the ideal mentor for Rookie, offering advice, support and an understanding of what I want the site to be, but editorially, he doesn't claim to understand the mind of the teenage girl. After we published a post about stickers, he was like, "Is that the name of a drug? Are you speaking in code?" So I covered a piece of paper completely with stickers and gave it to him. I made sure there wasn't any white space."
Besides making me laugh out loud, it underscored the idea that sometimes the best mentor totally understands you, yet doesn't get your immediate world at all. It allows for objectivity, clarity. A good thing for sure.
I've started trying to pay it forward with a few younger women that I think are amazing, and it's been such a cool and rewarding experience...
Do you guys do this? Do you have a mentor or a mentee? I'd love to know about your experiences.