I started working with a mentor, 15 months ago!
My name is Déborah. I am a disciple of Christ, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a cool aunt, and a student of Iife. I work as an audit assistant and currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in business sciences at ICHEC.
I am happy to write this short text to show the importance of having a mentor and how it has benefited me both professionally or personally.
I have been a mentee for a year and three months now (1 year, 3 months). I can only say, you will always receive the kind of energy you give. Clearly, you are looking for a mentor because you wish to achieve certain goals, pursue your dreams, and make a better version of yourself. Mentors are important for their guidance, the knowledge they may possess and, for the experiences they may be willing to share.
Professionally, having a mentor has encouraged me to not settle for less even if i had a good job. I still wanted to pursue another degree and further my studies. No one has reached to a place where they think they know everything. Also, as a full time worker who works in finance, working hours can be crazy and school activities can get overwhelming… The encouragement I received from my mentor has helped me be strategic in the way I allocate time for both commitments. Time management and organisation are important soft skills to have but difficult to apply. My mentor and I have worked on those two aspects while making room for sacrifice.
About work and life balance, I chose my mentor for the example that she is, she has a family life, a demanding professional life and she is a full time minister. She handles those aspects of her life really well and i have learned great organisation, prioritising, being sacrificial and to never abandon.
Finance Management: After one year (1year) and plus in my job, I did not know where my salary went… I was horrible at managing my finances. This is not something we are taught in school and many times, we are afraid to ask our parents how to handle our money. It was important to me that I improve this aspect of my life. Therefore I brought it up to my mentor. We listed all my monthly expenses (even those expenses you wish you’d hide). Knowing where the money goes helps in managing the remaining (that is if there is) and this way you can cut off wasteful expenses and reduce unnecessary ones. It is good to do this exercise, it has worked for me and up to now, I have saved more money I never thought I would. Always remember before spending, you probably do not need what you think you need.
Spiritually, I have always had the urge to serve; I have been looking for confirmation in what ministry I should focus on precisely. The good thing about having a mentor, they will not tell you which ministry is for you however, they will pray for you and notice your talents during the process. More often, God gives us talents so that we can use them as a service to Him. Remember not everyone is called to be a pastor, a choir member or a worship leader; ministry can be bringing candies for kids to church once in a while, visiting your church elders, taking a Saturday off to help clean someone’s house… all this to say that serving comes in many forms.
On a personal level, It’s important to have great relationships with family, friends, colleagues,… it is also very important to have a great relationship with oneself. Being an adult can come with so many responsibilities, I have learned to enjoy my passions, making time for my hobbies, enjoying the silence of my own company and doing things that give sense to my life here on earth. I cannot stress enough on what Christ did for us to enjoy life. It saddens him when we become slaves of our jobs, studies, accomplishments… take a break and don’t forget to give thanks.
I chose also to open up to my mentor about my love life and it has been one the most beautiful and fun journey. I trust my mentor and respect her for who she is and I believe with her experience, she is a right fit to advise me on how to handle break ups, enjoy and let myself be loved but also how to pray for a long-term relationship. In today’s world where love is often taken for granted, young people are scared to get married and to commit, even young believers, we are affected. We need to hear and see Christian couples who are holding each other down, leading their relationship towards a Christ like relationship as an example.
To conclude, mentors should not be your friends, but i am blessed to count on someone who I respect but also who I have a good relationship with. Obedience and humility are keys for a good mentoring relationship. In humility, one should accept to learn and in obedience, one should accept to put in practice what is learned.
I will end with these tips,
- Clarify your goals and make it clear to your mentor what you want to achieve. Choose your mentor wisely, if your goal is to attend an art school and became an actor for example, make sure you, at least, have something in common with your mentor.
- It is a two-way street concept; let them know about your life in general, tell them about main events of your life that can influence change. They are here to go through those journeys with you.
- Perfection is a myth, be patient in the process and do not give up.
Banksy says “a lot of people never use their initiative because no one told them to”, most of the points mentioned above are things we already know. However, we rarely put them into practice. The good thing about being mentored, you are given advice but you are not left alone in the process. So let a mentor tell you what to do, you might need it.
I have better relationships thanks to my mentor; I am a better daughter, a better friend, a better sister and a better student thanks to this mentoring program.
You do not only learn or receive but you end up giving as well.