An email popped up in my inbox from HDN offering Mentor and Mentee places on their programme. I considered both for a while and then decided because of my successful journey that I’ve experienced whilst working in housing.I had no idea what I was letting myself in for…I filled in the form, sold my soul and hoped for the best. I had previously undertaken some coaching sessions being the coach in my current work place and knew mentoring was on a similar scale. All I knew if I was successful I would be matched with a stranger who worked within the housing sector.
I received confirmation from HDN that not only had I been successful, I had been matched, they sent me the application and CV for my Mentee, dates and times of sessions and different strands you could attend. A few hours after receiving the confirmation my Mentee had responded saying they were very pleased with the match (what a relief).
My Mentee and I had agreed to attend the first session together to meet each other, we had communicated via email beforehand, however, there was still the unknown, what if they don’t like me, what if we don’t get on the usual apprehension/nervousness. I met with my Mentee and they were the most down to earth nicest person you could meet. I felt the nerves shift and relaxed. The first session the Mentee only carried out half a day’s whereas the Mentors had a full session, I was in a room with a mixture of experienced and new Mentors like myself. It was a wonderful experience as I gained knowledge, leant tips from experienced people who had done this journey before.
The biggest challenge faced was finding a suitable day and time for both myself and Mentee to be able to meet to carry out the sessions.
As a first time Mentor, I thought it was extremely important to attend all the sessions and participate in all the activities that were being held, these sessions helped me to build the confidence and skill to be able to Mentor my Mentee successfully. HDN offer support throughout the time you’re in the programme although I never felt the need to tap into the extra help that was on offer I’m certain it would have been as supportive and helpful as the sessions were. On this particular course, you got to hear from CEO’s and their journey through life, you meet some inspirational people and soon realize that everyone has a story and a journey on how they got to where they are.
Being a Mentor for the first time helped me grow as a person, it has made me more focused and determined to achieve my goals and aspirations, it has helped in my confidence and although it’s still daunting to speak in public, I have overcome my fear and managed to carry out a successful presentation and apply for a more senior role within my organization. Although it never materialized the feedback received I now know where I need to expand my knowledge.
I would recommend that everyone at some stage becomes a Mentor it’s such a fulfilling rewarding role not only are you helping someone to achieve their goals you’re also helping yourself to mend, change and shape your future.
I am very proud of the journey my Mentee has taken they have grown and developed which I got to witness first hand. I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with my Mentee where they thought I was a manager and oozing with confidence. Just goes to show that you don’t need to be in a position of power to help someone make a change to their life.