Mentors, role models, coaches and colleagues have all played an important role in my career.
When I have had big decisions or choices to make, they have been made easier thanks to the advice of many inspiring people – both professional and personal connections; giving me the confidence to take opportunities that have pushed my career forward, or helping to guide me in making decisions that have taken me down a path I wouldn’t necessarily have considered.
The positive experiences I have benefitted from are the reason I’ve chosen get involved in the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s ‘Mentoring with Energy’ programme. I’ll be the lead mentor for the ‘Moving Up’ mentoring circle, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity this presents to meet new people and have meaningful conversations.
Traditionally, mentoring has followed more of a 1:1 approach, but we’re looking to do something a little different, with the wider benefits that a collaborative and sharing group set-up can provide. This arrangement offers the chance to get around the table with a variety of people at similar stages in their careers, to share insights and experiences - in this case, professionals planning to take the next step into a managerial position.
The transition from a purely technical role, to becoming a people manager, then onto that of a leader is not always a natural progression. Each new phase requires a slightly different approach. It’s not that you can say goodbye to the skills you already rely on, but you will need to call on different capabilities that you may or may not have in that moment. The single biggest difference I noticed was the need to make more complex decisions quickly. It’s not that I didn’t have that skillset; I’ve just had to make the time to hone it further.
That’s a theme that characterises these sessions too – they are very focused, running for just one hour each. And by scheduling them at the start or end of the day, or over lunch time, it also means you don’t have to make a compromise between doing your day job and investing in your own development.
For more information about the OGTC's Mentoring Circles, a unique and interactive development opportunity, click here.