Fiona mentored Claire through TIME program no. 22 (April-October 2016) and, as we often find, they learned a bit from each other.
We asked them a few questions about their shared TIME experience, here’s what they had to say.
I am always looking for ways to grow and develop personally and professionally. At the time, I felt I was at a crossroad and needing some clarity around what was next for me within the Travel Industry.
It was really important for me to have a mentor that was thriving in many aspects of their own life. Career, community, family, children. I wanted guidance on how I could be the best and most productive version of myself.
What do you recall from your first session with Fiona?
I was slightly nervous (but excited) leading up to my first session. However, when Fiona and I first met we hit it off instantly and I knew it was the perfect pairing.
It was refreshing to have a Mentor who was so honest and humble about her own journey. It made me feel a lot more comfortable to share my wins, losses and aspirations.
What did you find the most challenging part of your TIME mentoring experience?
Ironically time was the biggest factor. We made our sessions work despite both of us having many interstate and overseas commitments.
What a great problem to have working in such an amazing industry!
And the most rewarding?
From the day we met, Fiona took a genuine interest in my development and became one of my biggest supporters. By her demonstrating her belief in me, it led me to believe in myself and venture outside of my comfort zone.
The skills I have learnt are invaluable and can be expanded on as I continue to grow and develop. I am extremely grateful to Fiona for her friendship, guidance and support.
What specific learnings from your TIME experience guide you in your career now?
Fiona has an amazing way of not over-complicating things, and approaching situations in an analytical yet personable way. This is something that I feel I have adopted since our mentoring sessions.
Some of the most valuable learnings I took away from my TIME experience that guide me now were around making informed and strategic business decisions, a review of my business acumen and focusing on staying relevant and standing out in the crowd.
How have your career prospects been enhanced by your TIME experience?
I feel my career prospects have enhanced as I have a clearer vision of what I am capable of. I have also expanded my network which is key to growing and developing within the industry.
I absolutely love what I do and am passionate about continuing my professional development.
I am excited to see what the future holds for me. I definitely feel more confident, open to pushing my boundaries and taking educated risks.
Who should consider being a TIME Mentee?
Anyone who is willing to put in the time to develop new skills, increase confidence, enhance career opportunities and gain new networks should consider being a Mentee.
My tip: Be proactive and go into the program with an open mind.
Describe your TIME experience in three words.
Motivating. Rewarding. Enlightening.
How did you get involved in the TIME program?
I have always admired Penny Spencer’s drive and tenacity to set up TIME as a sustainable legacy to the industry, which I am sure comes at an enormous personal time cost of her own.
When asked to get involved as a mentor, I was humbled and accepted without hesitation.
Time is the most valuable asset I have right now as work and home are both super busy. Deciding where I am going to invest that time to get the best ROI is important, and the TIME program delivers on all fronts.
That I can potentially make a tiny but impactful difference in an emerging industry leader is a great privilege.
How many TIME participants have you mentored?
I will get involved again, but it’s all about timing with my travel commitments at the moment. .
How would you describe Claire’s development through the mentoring experience?
Claire’s starting point was, “Life is great and I love my job, but I will wait and see what happens down the track.”
Her finishing point was, “Life is great and I love my job but I’m prepared to own my future and my decisions.”
My sense is that she developed a greater sense of professional purpose throughout the six months, and if I was even remotely responsible for a tiny part of that then I am pleased to have had a positive impact.
What was the most satisfying thing for you about mentoring Claire?
Watching this capable, clever and caring individual find her voice and seeing her confidence grow.
Mentors often state that they learn many things from their Mentees, what did you learn from Claire?
Through her actions, Claire often reminded me how important it was to live in the moment and be grateful for the good things we have – it was quite grounding for me to see that.
Have you ever had a Mentor yourself?
Yes, and I still do, except now I call her my friend.
She is a powerful strategic thinker who can take a very complex problem and in an instant distil it down to simple communication that even those with the most limited knowledge of the topic can understand.
I am so grateful I met her professionally over ten years ago, and whenever I get into a difficult situation I have this reference point where I can simply stop and consider what I think my friend and mentor would do, and that guides me forward.
There can be no greater professional gift than one she’s given me.
Are you ready to accelerate your career?