Tag Archives: beginning

Why anonymity?

I have a few very, close friends who I’ve shared this blog with. The one question they’ve all asked is, “Why am I blogging anonymously.” As my one friend T said, “Web 2.0 is all about transparency and open collaboration. Why would anyone want to hide?”

I’m here to answer that question.

The EQmentor program has anonymity as one of its foundations. The picture below shows you the honor code that must be agreed to each time you log in to the site. (Hint: You can click on the picture to see a larger version of it.)

When I created my account I completed a detailed profile and questionnaire so that I could be matched with an appropriate mentor. Once matched we began communicating with literally a clean slate. We are each assigned a unique ID number and address each other as Dear Mentee and Dear Mentor.

The benefit of a clean slate? There is no bias. My mentor does not know my name, age, sex, race, or place of employment. Nor do I know that information about my mentor. (Though I will confess that it’s fun to guess.)

There is no fear that my mentor will someday interview me for a job or be my boss. (If it happens we would never know.) There is no fear that my mentor may share a company secret with someone else who leaks the secret and gets me fired. There is not fear that my mentor will call my boss and say something that will get me fired. There is no fear that what I say could keep me from being promoted.

Safety.

The key benefit of an anonymous mentor/mentee relationship is a safe environment. I truly have the freedom to ask and say anything. And that is a wonderful, freeing feeling.

So now that I’ve explained why the mentoring process is anonymous, I’ll cover why I’m blogging anonymously.

Blogging anonymously allows me to share my experience with you while upholding the confidentiality of the mentor-mentee relationship I have with my mentor. If my mentor happens upon this site it will not take him or her long to recognize my writing. If I were to disclose my name or personal information it would violate the confidentiality agreement that EQmentor has and put my mentor and me in an awkward position.

I hope this post sheds some light on the anonymity. Feel free to ask questions via comments or just say hello.

Advertisements

Introductions & Goals

I received a message from my new mentor today. I’m so excited. They actually found someone who works in the same field as me! I can’t believe it. My mentor has experience in the position that I have now and the position that I aspire to have. My mentor also has the same hobbies and personal interests as me.

It is a little odd at first composing a response to someone whose name I don’t know. But I suppose with time it will get easier.

I was asked to complete an Introductions exercise. In it I describe my job, life, past mentoring experiences, and goals for this experience.

I’ll share a summary of my introduction here.

I work for a fairly large non-profit. I’m basically a jack of all trades. I do public relations, computer work, training, etc. My organization is going through a major reorganization. I’m not sure where I will fit in when all is said and done. I’d like to advance in my career but I feel stuck. As a 30-something I feel stuck. I’m no longer entry level, but I’m not quite ready for management either.

I’m married with three children. My biggest hobby is writing (can’t you tell 🙂 )!

I’ve never had a formal mentor before. I have had several informal relationships that I viewed as a mentor/mentee relationship. Since those were not formal arrangements there was no schedule nor goals –just advice here and there.

So my goal with this six month mentoring experience is to:

  • Determine my next step career wise
  • Establish a long term career path and associated goals
  • Boost my self-confidence
  • Project a more professional, positive image
  • Improve my weak EQ areas of self-regulation and emotionalism
  • Find a good balance between work and family

Think I can accomplish all that in six months?

A Match

Silly I feel like I’ve been matched on match.com or eharmony. But I have been matched with my mentor from EQmentor!

I can’t wait to “see” who this person is. I hope it is no one I know. I have this fear that it will be a scene out of the Piña Colada song and I will somehow be matched with my boss. Can you imagine?

Luckily the folks at  EQmentor have assured me that it won’t happen.

My Scores

I received an email with a copy of my EQ results from the Emotional Intelligence Assessment and Personality Inventory that I took last week.

The results were not really a surprise. I scored above average in all areas except Self-Regulation. I received a 26 in Self-Regulation. The average is around 37. Self-Regulation is the ability to think before speaking and acting. I already knew that this is one of my weakest areas. I tend to react and then pay for it later.

I scored well above average for Empathy.
Self-Awareness, Motivation, and Social Skills were slightly above average.

eq1

As far as the Personality Inventory no surprises there either. I’m slightly Extroverted. Very agreeable. Conscientious. Open-Minded. Off the charts Emotional!

eqscore

So what does this all mean?

I would say overall I scored very well. But I have some areas that definitely need work! Self-Regulation and Emotionalism. I’m guessing that pair goes hand in hand. I’d be curious to see if others who score low in Self-Regulation also tend to be emotional.

I’ll try to give you an example of how I see that pairing.

I’m sure you’ve known someone who seems very sensitive or emotional. This type of person gets his or her feelings hurt very easily. Cries easily. Angers easily. Now with a low Self-Regulation score this type of person reacts on those feelings without thinking through the consequences. In other words, if you make me mad I’ll tell you what I think of you before I even ask for your side of the story!

Now that I have been scored I’m waiting to be paired up with a mentor. I’m really excited to “meet” this person!

First Steps

I received my welcome message from EQ Mentor. I immediately clicked on the link within the email to complete my registration.

I completed the following:

  • Mentee Profile – similar to a job application but anonymous
  • Emotional Intelligence Assessment
  • Personality Inventory

I’m anxious to see the results and get started!

A Single Step

There is a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is my first step.

I knew when I heard Dr. Izzy Justice speak at a conference last year that he was a man of passion and full of great ideas. The idea of virtual mentoring appealed to me. I work in an industry where mentoring is non-existent. I love my job and don’t want to begin the daunting task of searching for a new job. I love the industry I work in and don’t really want to change professions. But like many Gen-Xers who I know, I am in a rut. I have the skills, passion, enthusiasm, and drive to succeed but for some reason I have hit a wall.

I am no longer an entry level employee, yet I do not have the skills or acumen to make the leap to management. I’m not even sure I want to move to management. But I know there has to be more out there. I want that sense of fulfillment that my parents have in their careers.

When Dr. Justice spoke of the mentoring program at EQmentor I was intrigued. Retired workers who have the wisdom and experience I seek. An entirely online, 100% anonymous mentor-mentee relationship. No risk of retribution or retaliation for asking a simple question. Mentoring that focuses on EQ (which is something I have always believed is the key to success).

While listening to Dr. Justice speak the idea hit me. I know that there are other people just like me who could benefit from a program like this. What if I went through the mentoring program and documented the experience? What if I blogged about this in real time so that I could share the experience?

I pitched the idea to the team at EQmentor and from the beginning they were as excited about it as I was. So my journey has begun. I have taken that ever so important single step.