Challenged and pushed me to the next level in a way no one else previously had
Dramatically increased confidence and the ability to take a 360˚ approach
Established my positioning on the Senior Management Team
Felicity Allen, SHINE Programme Mentee
Group Account Director, Something Big,
Award-winning, creative communications agency
What challenges were you experiencing before mentoring started?
When I returned to work after maternity leave, I took on a slightly different role where I was responsible for running a new team for a one of our largest clients which required more of a strategic focus. Whilst I demonstrated good management skills, I lacked leadership skills, and an understanding of the difference between management and leadership to take myself to the next level. It was agreed that providing me with a mentor would aid my career development and progression as a marketer, helping me to carve out my positioning within the Senior Management Team as well as driving key client relationships forward.
I recognised it would help having someone outside of the business who would challenge me - you can get bogged down in day to day stuff and having someone completely removed and making you think in a different way I knew would be both incredibly useful and challenging.
What have you achieved since the mentoring relationship began?
Initially the advice and expertise from Charlotte helped my management skills, and whilst this was not the initial focus there were some things there I was struggling with on a day to day basis. Someone fresh and outside of the office to discuss those issues with proved very useful to enable me to see new ways of tackling some of these issues.
I also learnt to adopt a different way of thinking and the importance of stepping back to have time to see and think about the bigger picture, whereas before I got too embedded in the details and the ‘doing’.
My confidence without doubt has increased dramatically even from those initial sessions because Charlotte made me think differently, pushing me to take the time out to reflect on achievements, and not be so self-critical on what I do, as well as challenging the way I have done certain things, making small suggestions and providing practical ways of implementing them.
What do you feel is the biggest benefit from the mentoring?
I am definitely more confident, in the workplace and outside of it. I feel confident to take the step back into more of a leadership role rather than being so hands on, and on a personal level whereas I previously shied away from conversations with friends and family about getting my career back on track whilst having a family because of differences of opinion, I’ve felt empowered by Charlotte to explain to people far more why it is important for me as an individual, not just practically, but the emotional and psychological reasons that are important to me to have a successful career.
What’s it like working with Charlotte?
It’s exhausting having a session with Charlotte in a really good way! The way she gets you to think challenges the way you would normally, and makes you see things from different angles. I now use a 360˚ approach which I haven’t focused on before. It’s not just inspirational stuff; it’s all very practical which you can relate to your own workplace.
Charlotte gives advice in a way that you feel empowered to take it on and see if it is going to work. She takes time to check up at the next session on how the implementation went.
Having someone you respect and aspire to be like is important, and from understanding Charlotte’s background and expertise there was a lot I could resonate with, as well as the type of person and type of development I was keen to also take.