As January unfolds, so does the spotlight on mentors and the profound impact they, whether formal or informal, can have on your personal and professional development. This month marks National Mentoring Month, an annual observance established in 2002 to generate and expand mentoring opportunities. The topic is of particular importance to me, as I have benefited personally in a career some might deem unconventional, specifically for a woman.
I am a craftsman for Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) where I assemble the most innovative, custom-fitted golf clubs on the market. When I tell people what I do for a living, they are often surprised that an actual person is so heavily involved in creating a set of clubs versus sole reliance on a machine. Even more surprising is that since starting with the company, I would guess that I have made upwards of 20,000 sets of clubs. However, I could not have gotten there without help.
Though I came to my position with some experience, I relied on not just one, but several mentors when I joined PXG.
Each freely and openly shared their abundant knowledge with me as I learned the process of building custom golf clubs. More importantly, I learned from them the value and importance of mentorship. Thanks to them, I can attest to the positive impact mentorship has on mentees, and this month, I hope others make time to mentor by:
There is no doubt that the benefits of a mentor go beyond the workplace. Whether there is a formal mentorship program or not, anyone in a company can make a big difference. My experience with my mentors at PXG has been very rewarding. I really could not have asked for a better team of people with which to work and create. In fact, my experience with them has inspired me to serve as a mentor myself. I’ve informally mentored several new hires, training them on certain aspects that are part of the golf club building process, but my story is not unique. Mentees often become the mentors.
So, as we embark on this monthlong recognition of mentorships and their value, we should highlight the success stories and the strong connections formed through these meaningful relationships. Further, we should assess the ways we, as individuals, can serve or be served by mentorship, and even more significantly, how our companies, and even our communities, can benefit.