Having worked at adidas across many of our global locations over the last 20 years, I believe that one of the most rewarding parts of my job has been in mentoring. Mentorship in the workplace gives just as much to the mentor as it does the mentee (I hope!), and it has been so amazing to realise this over the years. For this reason, I’m very happy to see that adidas is creating a more robust internal set-up that will allow its employees to take full advantage of this approach.
I’d like to share just a few of the things I’ve taken from my experiences of mentorship in the workplace.
The power of having a personal board of directors
While I’ve taken on the role of mentoring others, I have also reached out to mentors to help me.
Some have been within the company and some have been from the outside. Over the years, my mentors have taught me the importance of confidence and humility and how to plan the next steps in my career.
The power of mentoring sessions, above all, has shown me the simple importance of carving out time for yourself to reflect on your career, where you have come from, who you are and where you would like to go.
Take time to reflect on what makes you happy and fulfilled, be it in your career, location, whether your current role meets your values, and plan your next steps carefully with all that information. You need to take thoughtful decisions about your career – don’t let someone else plan that for you.
Driving mentorship in the workplace
I always have three mentees that I like to work with at any one time. None of them have come through any formal set-up, they have been natural progressions throughout the years. The most important thing is that all these mentees have come with open mindsets about where they are in their career and what they would like to work on in their personal improvement journey.
We have worked through many challenges together, including focusing on career choices, identifying personal values and – among other things – have looked at how to apply these to find their next role, manage conflicts and boost their networks.
I have seen mentees forge ahead and improve the relationships they have with their colleagues (and supervisors), drive their ideas forward by building support and carve out successful career paths based on some of the topics that we have worked through in our sessions. What a thrill it is to see those mentees career’s take off and hear the (especially unsolicited) fantastic feedback about them!
I am very excited to see how adidas is working to solidify its approach to mentorship in the workplace, as it will definitely speak to those who might not have enough confidence to reach out to a potential mentor directly.
Learning through experience is something we can all gain from and I look forward to hearing from others on how they’ve developed along their journey.