Set Some Goals
Mentorship is a vital part of our industry in particular for the advancement of women. SoundGirls has a wonderful opportunity for mentorship relationships to develop and grow over time. A fulfilling mentorship can be challenging to get started: Meeting someone new; trusting them with your problems and worries while seeking answers and support can be hard for anyone to do, it can be even more trying in the crazy, but fantastic industry of ours too!
An excellent way to start a mentorship relationship is to get to know each other a bit. Share where you’re at in life and career including what your hopes and dreams are for now and the future. Don’t forget your mentor may be new at this as well. These conversations are opportunities for both of you to connect, share stories and opinions, to progress together. We will likely never know the full impact we have on people, so let’s live life together learning, sharing, and growing along the way!
Jump start this relationship by working together to create goals. As a mentor, I want to know what you want to achieve and help you get there. A great way to establish this is by setting goals together. Your goals help me understand where you are and where you’re headed. Back when I worked with student staff, I would always ask them to set 3-4 goals for their year — at least two work oriented and one life-based goal. For me, life is part of work and work is part of life; it is essential to progress in both, and as a mentor, I want to see you achieve great things at work and home.
Setting these goals gives you something to strive for too. It doesn’t mean they can’t change or adapt, but it helps you move forward. When setting your work-oriented goals consider setting a skills goal and a qualities goal. For example, a skills goal could be to master the new mixer your company just purchased. A qualities goal could be learning to lead a team of 15 people confidently.
Each of these are large work-based goals that are achievable with time. They also can be broken down into smaller steps to help you achieve the larger overall goal. Your mentor can help you with this too! To break down the skills goal of learning a new mixer you can take steps such as reading the manual, shadowing someone who uses that mixer on a show, spending time practicing in the shop, and getting out on a show with the mixer yourself. Then before you know it you have conquered this goal, and it’s time to create a new one!
Your qualities goal can be broken down the same way. Have a conversation with your mentor and a leader you respect; ask questions about how they developed their style. Find resources to read and start putting it into practice with smaller groups, then work your way up to the larger group. Breaking down your large goals into smaller steps can make any goal feel more achievable! It will help you see progress along the way as well.
Your life-based goal can be anything! This is the goal I like to have the most fun with. For example, I had a goal this year to take a trip to Ireland, and I did! It was a great trip. I broke down this goal by setting smaller goals like saving money each month to pay for the trip. I conserved vacation and comp time to be able to spend a good amount of time there, and I researched the places I wanted to go to make the best of the trip. It was a vacation of a lifetime for me, and I am so happy I achieved that goal! Other life-based goals can be things like trying every flavor ice cream in the grocery store, developing your painting skills, crafting your own beer, or even starting a family.
Goals don’t always need to be serious; they just need to be things you want to achieve. Plus, in a mentorship relationship, you will have someone to discuss your ideas, trails, and triumphs with along the way! What are your work and life-based goals? Mine are to get better at rigging points and weight balances, to become more confident in my new position at work, and to purchase a townhouse.
Heather Holm: Based in Saint Paul, MN; Heather has held many positions in the sound, production, and events business. Most recently as a Production Coordinator serving the Twin Cities area. She holds a BA in Broadcasting and Digital Media Communication and an MS in Organizational Change Leadership. Prior to taking a position with a private production firm, Heather has over seven years of working in higher education dealing with event logistics and production technology and has also been freelancing in the field for several years.