One of my favourite books of all time is On The Road by Jack Kerouac. I love this book simply because it is a reminder that life is a journey and it’s not the destination that matters but the experiences and the people you meet along the way.
I also find this book carries across into my professional life in the form of a metaphor.
How often do you stop and think about how you actually got to where you are now? Sometimes you can get so caught up in living your life you don’t actually turn around and look at the road you have been down.
– How far have you actually come?
– Who helped you along the way?
– Who put gas in your tank when it was almost empty?
– Who jumped in your car and enjoyed the great stretch of road you were on when you were having fun?
– Who jumped in your car when the going was tough and kept you company?
I was thinking about this recently and realised that I had never properly thanked my mentor who actually showed me the open road only two years ago. So I wanted to make sure I let her know. I found the easiest way to do this way to write her a quick story that we both relate to and a testimonial that she can use on a resume or that I can put on her LinkedIn profile.
My testimonial to my mentor.
Sir Ken Robinson wrote that “Heroes may be remote from us and inaccessible. They may live in another world. They may be dead. If we meet them, we may be too awestruck to engage properly with them. Heroes may not be good to us. They may be competitive or refuse to have anything to with us Mentors are different. They take a unique and personal place in our lives. Mentors open doors for us and get involved directly in our journeys. They show us the next steps and encourage us to take them.” I once told Karen that James Dean is dead, that I have met Russell Brand, spoke to Gary Vaynerchuk but I actually know Karen Becker!
Quite simply Karen is the greatest mentor a student could have asked for.
– She saw the fire in my eyes and helped me ignite it
– She started my car but didn’t tell me which way to turn
– She gave me my first contact but taught me how and why to network
– She was always there for me but wasn’t holding my hand
My journey on the road started when I met Karen Becker and I will always hold her in the highest regard and hope that she continues to join me on this crazy journey.
Don’t forget to look back in your rear vision mirror and reflect on where you have come from and have a look at who has sat in the seat of your car!
So if you want to thank your mentor, write them a story that really conveys how they have shaped your journey and link it to something that you both care about or experienced. In my case it was Sir Ken Robinson.
So start writing and let me know how you go!