Deciding whether to mentor? – Just do it!

I recently started the wonderful journey of being a Mentor. I expressed my desire and reasons for wanting to mentor in an email to Alex Papworth, at Business Analyst Mentor. My drivers included my continuous quest to develop a broader understanding of the business analysis field by communicating my skills to others, the sharing of skills I have picked up via the painstakingly process of correcting bad practices, and my desire to build leadership and management skills as I continue to evolve in the BA profession. In mentoring other BA’s, I believed I could gain invaluable experience and help support the BA profession one person at a time.

After taking the time to read my email, Alex replied with a mentee he thought would be a good fit.  Even though I was committed, I was very apprehensive at first. Doubts started to creep in and fearful thoughts quickly appeared about the new role. Do I have enough experience to truly help someone?  Have I been exposed to all of the necessary BA techniques? As the list grew, I simply had to remind myself to cast these fears aside and just do it! Nothing ventured is nothing gained. What did I have to lose, right? After the first mentoring session, my fears and doubts were instantly set aside.  The mentee was willing to learn and seemed really engaged, two key components of the mentee’s role. We were off to a good start.  After a few more sessions I reported to Alex that everything was going great! Alex replied back he was very pleased and to my surprise asked if I could return the favor of the introduction by writing a regular blog post. Just a few hundred words once a month he said.  No big deal, right?  Once again apprehension set in. I knew how to write documentation based on analysis but would I be good at writing about my own experiences? The verdict is still pending here but as evidenced by this first post, I put my hesitations aside once more and just did it!

My experiences as a mentor thus far have been excellent!  After only a few sessions with my mentee I realize I am more secure in my BA skills.  I feel confident in speaking on BA methods and I am truly happy and excited to share my knowledge.  If there are methods the mentee wants to discuss that I am not knowledgeable about, we will explore and learn them together. The journey has been very beneficial in more ways than one and I would like to encourage anyone who is considering being a mentor or a mentee to take the plunge and just do it!

About Jennifer van Veen

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