Think back to when you were sixteen or seventeen.
Perhaps you knew exactly where you were headed, had confidence in spades, and life was a breeze. But perhaps, if you were anything like me, you didn’t really know what you wanted to do with your life, and just hoped to goodness it’d all work out somehow.
What I would have given back then to be able to tap into someone who could have provided some guidance. Even just a ‘You know what? You’re doing great, keep going’ would have been fab.
The teams at Coca-Cola Australia and the Beacon Foundation recently approached me to be an ambassador for MyRoad. MyRoad is an online mentoring program connecting mentors with mentees who are young women from high schools all across Australia. I jumped at the chance to get involved because it’s all online and convenient to access the session from anywhere.
Today I did my first session. I just switched on my computer, booted up Zoom (a video conferencing program, similar to Skype) and off we went. Online mentoring is perfect as it’s often hard for me to find the time to travel to meet mentees. I was a little nervous to begin with but I needn’t have been. The session was very structured with the notes and accompanying videos all laid out for the mentors.
“Whenever I get the chance to mentor, I always walk away feeling energised and like I’ve made a difference. It also helps me clarify where I’m at and celebrate how far I’ve come. I can’t help but feel that perhaps I get more from it than the mentees.”
The four girls that I spoke with were switched on and present. They stayed interested for the whole session and seemed grateful for my input.
We talked through a range of topics from making career decisions and goal setting to the importance of networking.
It was great to support the girls as they opened up to me about the challenges they face when thinking about life after school. This can be a really overwhelming time, especially for those students who live in small or regional communities and don’t have access to a lot of career options.
On a personal level, the session encouraged me to reflect upon what I’ve done and where I’m headed. Career paths are never linear and it’s important young Aussie girls understand this. After all, it’s the curveballs that make us who we are. I’ve certainly faced many over the years and they’ve played a significant role in getting me to where I am today.
Whenever I get the chance to mentor, I always walk away feeling energised and like I’ve made a difference. It also helps me clarify where I’m at and celebrate how far I’ve come. I can’t help but feel that perhaps I get more from it than the mentees.
I’d love to think that a stack of women from Business Chicks would join me in providing some guidance to these young women. There’s no set criteria to become a mentor – the beauty of this program is that it presents mentors from all walks of life and helps open the eyes of these girls to what’s possible. You can become a mentor for just one two-hour session, or you can commit to a few – whatever works for you.
These girls need our experiences, our reassurance and our encouragement. It makes being sixteen just that little bit sweeter.
For more information about MyRoad and to register as a mentor, head here.