It’s been said, success is determined more by who you know than what you know. This is true in many, yet not all, respects. Although successful women take different paths, one thing common to all, is each has had at least one great mentor. Mentoring can be a formal process, but it is often those symbiotic relationships of kindred spirits that are the best at drawing out your greatest potential.
Before identifying a mentor, you must first know why a mentor is necessary. The purpose of having a mentor is not to become someone else, but to identify those that can help develop a better you. Therefore, you must know yourself. Identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Although many women want to work on weaknesses, it is better to focus more on your strengths.
Strengths can be developed more quickly and at a greater capacity than weaknesses. For instance, I may have a natural talent for baseball and not be that great at playing the piano. If I spend all my time trying to improve my piano skills, I may eventually be able to play a few songs for friends and family around the holidays, but I will never become a concert pianist. However, if I were to work on playing baseball, I could potentially make it to the pros or at least play on a college team, depending on my dedication.
Once strengths and weaknesses have been identified, prioritize the areas you want to further develop. The mentor can then guide you along a path by sharing lessons learned and experiences to help you achieve greater success by avoiding the obstacles that women face. This month, I encourage you to complete the step to identify what you need from a mentor to further develop your strengths.
To read about more opportunities for Women in Cybersecurity please check out NCI’s initiative for women in cybersecurity.
- Pamela Shortt has a passion for helping people reach their potential. As the Dean of Business & Information Technologies at Forsyth Technical Community College, Ms. Shortt believes any challenge can be overcome with dedication, hard work, and a vision for the future.