Without going into too many specifics, I am mentoring a new hire at work. Some people use the term mentor loosely and think that it means ‘to look after.’ I tend to see mentoring as the growing and nurturing of an individual’s goals, skills, and interests.
I remember starting my job at Walgreens in Phoenix, Arizona. The time frame was the summer of 2000. On my first day, I was put on the main cashier position and was told to immediately memorize a lot of key combinations and such. I was also expected to be able to count out my drawer, know where store-items were, and help customers. I was yelled at for not knowing where things were in the back, and was also chastised for not being as productive as management liked. I was ‘expected’ to be able to do things upon hire, so to speak.
Eventually I got over my new hire status and acquired more skills. What I lacked in the beginning, however, was a good mentor. There was nobody to guide me by the hand and show me the ropes. Granted, the turnover rate at Walgreens is high, but I would imagine employees would want to stay on longer if they felt there was someone looking out for them.
The person I’m mentoring is full of ambition, and her career is essentially beginning. She has goals of what she would like to do as far as going to school and a career. I remember out of high school I was scared to death. I was in Phoenix, Arizona with only my sister to look out for me. She helped drive me around and introduced me to various churches. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t even know if Phoenix was the right choice for me. It’s rather scary to look back upon how uncertain my future was at that point in life. I just hope that this new hire can look back in five years with positive memories of what was the start of a blossoming career.