A new year often brings resolutions and new goals. Do yours include something about your professional life?
WCA is here to help – both in the setting and in the keeping of those goals. How? By providing you with one of WCA’s most-valued member benefits – Peer Mentoring!
Gina Helfrich, who recently accepted a new position with Internews, can attest to the value received. Her non-linear career path took her from the Boston, Massachusetts, higher-education world to a tech start-up in Austin. Next, she took a communications position for a tech-based non-profit, followed by a gig on her own as a management consultant. With an opportunity to return to work with her previous employer, she found herself needing clarity and reached out to the Peer Mentor program.
“It was incredibly useful to get someone else’s perspective,” she stated. Gina mentored with Jane Baxter Lynn, who in Gina’s words “helped me think about where I was going with my career and how to better advocate for myself in the roles that I wanted.” She further appreciated the fact that Jane’s deep professional expertise helped her “gain a longer view into my future.”
As a WCA member, you have exclusive access to a host of amazing professional and career resources through the Peer Mentor program. Wherever you are in your career, whatever your professional questions or concerns, a peer mentor is there to help with:
- Job hunt or career transition advice
- Resource and networking suggestions
- Perspective regarding a work or client situation
- Skill or career gap recommendations
- Best practices
- Resume review
Mentorships can be as short as one meeting or lasting for several sessions. Whatever the duration, they often result in deep friendships as well as professional growth.
Or, if your New Year’s resolution is more along the lines of giving than receiving, think about paying it forward by becoming a peer mentor and helping fellow members navigate their career journeys.
Volunteers from every communication role are needed. Your willingness to share lessons learned, challenges overcome, resources discovered and advice collected can help shape your mentee’s career path or solve a specific concern.
And here’s the best-kept secret of all: You get more than you receive. As explained by Jan Gunter, a peer mentor for the past five-plus years, “This is an extraordinary group of generous, smart and kind women who are always there to provide a safe place to share your thoughts and concerns be it in regard to a work-related issue or a career challenge.”
Jan went on to add that “it is very rewarding to meet with mentees and help to encourage them through the sharing of my own experiences.” On occasion, Jan also has found that in helping someone work through their own decision-making process, she has been given a special spark that has created change in her own career course.
From beekeeper and honey extractor working in her family business to communications manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas to Deputy Development Director for The Salvation Army and now back to her roots as a Texas land specialist, Jan has found amazing support through WCA and the Peer Mentor program.
Members of all ages and experience levels are invited to serve as mentors. Become a part of this incredibly supportive group of fellow communicators. Peer mentors meet three times a year and work with WCA members on an as-needed and as-available basis.
Give your New Year’s resolutions a boost – be it as a mentee or a mentor or both. Check out the Peer Mentoring page on the WCA website and submit an application.
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