“With a WUN mentor it was easier to set personal goals that are not overshadowed by your job.”
The WUN Mentoring programme – the thoughts of Fiona Tremlett, Proposals Manager, Advance-plus.
Can you tell us in a paragraph why you chose to mentor through WUN?
I was first introduced to WUN in late 2019 attending the British Water conference, Women in Water, sponsored and hosted by my employer MWH Treatment. I had never experienced a predominantly female lead conference before or one which focused on the individual. I was inspired by the presenters and their personal stories.
Listening to these presentations I thought how I would love to see myself being confident enough to speak about how I enjoy my job, my development, what interests me and how my career has progressed. More importantly how a work home life balance if so important and to take time for yourself.
At the time I was in a position that was not fulfilling my potential or encouraging my development. I had no idea what I wanted to do next. This event empowered me to change. I went to the website and secured my mentor. I loved reading the WUN bios on the mentors who all were willing to give their time helping and developing others.
Can you tell us in a paragraph if/ why you would recommend WUN Mentoring?
Yes; but be sure you are ready to invest time in yourself, it can be a challenge!
Like a lot of women, I have always been someone who hates to talk about themselves, always looking at what I could do better and not good at taking compliments or praise at work. My mentor is challenging and encouraging me to work on this. I want to focus on what is important to me.
I learnt that I need to invest time in myself and set this time aside, even if it is only 10 mins here & there. By talking, writing, or sharing what you do allows you to see your achievements more clearly.
We are always talking about the importance of being in a team when actually we need to know the individual first. I now see the importance being self-aware and seeing myself as an individual.
I believe it is important to develop supportive relationships and empower each other within our industry and WUN does this.
For me it is more comfortable to be a mentor as this role I have had for several years in the workplace. I find it easier to invest time in others.
From my experience it is rewarding for both parties, I love to see someone succeed and develop both learning from the experience.
Expectation vs Reality – please can you tell us whether your mentoring objectives were achieved with your mentor? If you feel comfortable doing so, could you share what this was? i.e. the objective was to achieve a promotion or to learn about a specific topic and they achieved this.
At first, I thought the hard work was done, I had a mentor and that was a goal achieved, but I had no idea what to do next.
I connected with my mentor Kripa, where one of her first questions was “what did I want from a mentor and for myself”. At this time, I was unsure but tried to put something together. I might have been naïve, but I thought she would tell me what to do!
We arrange to meet up and had a great discussion and I came away pumped to know more about myself.
It is on reflection of the questions Kripa put to me it was clear to both of us that I had never spent enough time to think of myself. So, this was my goal, I started to note down (just for myself) a list of what I was good at, loved, hated, or wanted to improve in for nearly a year. I put time aside to review these and what they meant to me, and to look at ways to work on or achieve my goals. Suddenly, I was learning about myself. While this will be an ongoing process, I am now more confident in knowing myself.
The questions Kripa posed to me were daunting, but looking back on it, put me on track to invest in myself. Some people know what they want but this was not the case for me.
With a WUN mentor it was easier to set personal goals that are not overshadowed by your job. Not only in setting goals but to challenge the reasoning, make them achievable and get objective advice.
Can you explain what you gained from this experience/ relationship?
I found a mentor, someone to communicate with freely who gave up their time to help me. I felt very comfortable from my first conversation with Kripa. I think it is important to form a connection. It has always been easy to talk openly mixing between work and home.
Kripa gave me a confident boost for achievements I didn’t even know I’d done. She was very understanding on my lack of self-awareness and encouraged me to talk on my successes.
I am starting to feel more confident speaking about me and as you see here, being able to write about myself without that usual block.
Thank you WUN!