Written by Daniele Conserva Oct. 17, 2022
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I lacked guidance in the earlier stages of my life, and I wish I had somebody giving me the right advice to shorten the path to my best self. Very seldom in the academic path, you find a guide, and sometimes families are broken and the individual is left alone facing all the difficult choices. I’m having a grasp and taste of my dreams and accomplishments at the beginning of my 40s. I want to try and give what I missed, to help people find their way sooner.
How did you get your career start?
I have done every sort of work really. But it was when I moved abroad and started in a tech company as a customer care agent. I got rid of the toxic work culture that belonged to my previous situations and started working with way better conditions and an international mindset. After 2 and a half years of assisting customers via phone and email, I was pushed to apply for an analyst position by my supervisor, where I met my manager that was a few years younger than me, but his way of leading people and working was always an example to me, plus he pushed me to work harder and smarter and use my potential in a powerful, yet kind and skillful way.
How do you usually set up mentorships?
Before planning a program, I will offer 2 options, after the main point. Main point: I want to know what kind of person i have in front of me, and understand the dreams and aspirations this person has. Option 1 - Suggest doing THAT, even against my best interest to mentor in my areas of expertise. Option 2 - If a career change is not an option, i will try to understand if there is something that this individual can do, or is currently doing, that can be used to slowly transition to that career/industry. For example, if you are a software developer for a financial institution, but you like art, you should start a side project on coding applied to art while starting an actual art school possibly. And you could come up in the next couple of years with a software idea that revolutionizes the art world or use it to create masterpieces, and in the meantime, your manual craft will be great too. There will be long-term happiness in dealing with what you like, regardless of the path. Got the point? Whatever the outcome of the options is, after that I would ask what the mentee feels like he/she is lacking, and try to point to the best direction to fill that gap. Then go with the flow. Every person is different.
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
Helping people out makes me feel really good. I think it could prepare me if the moment comes when I will have to manage people. Plus, being a father, mentoring people (especially younger people) could give me a much better perspective on how the youth is facing now what I had to face twenty-plus years ago. I’m at the beginning of my mentoring journey, but i can already feel enjoyment in doing it, and knowing that I’m contributing to potentially improve somebody else’s life makes me feel great. Knowing how other people tackle their career, the concerns, the hopes, the desires. I find enjoyable everything that connects me to another person that has the same desire to improve that I have.
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