17 Nov How Mentor Walks helped this woman to navigate change
When Kerry Matheson came to Mentor Walks, she was going through a huge change in her career. Westpac, where she’s worked nine years, was undergoing a redundancy period.
“I signed up to Mentor Walks thinking that my role was potentially about to grow or change a little, so I thought I could do with some advice. Then in between signing up and actually going on my first walk, I had accepted a redundancy offer.”
While many would feel scared at this prospect and unsure what to do next, Kerry was excited by the opportunity to have a blank slate and was seeking her mentor’s advice on how to approach the next stage of her career.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first arrived. I thought the mentors would just be people at my level who had a bit of experience under their belts, but the calibre of the mentors just blew me away. I was very impressed,” says Kerry.
Kerry was paired with Jenny Morawska, President and CEO of the Morawska Group, who has extensive experience in executive leadership and management.
“Jenny was so inspiring. Sometimes we get caught up and we’re always looking down at our own little world and our job, and spending that hour with Jenny and the other mentee made me lift my head up. I started thinking well beyond the industry I’ve been working in.”
Just getting to hear about Jenny’s various qualifications – all of which you can read about here – inspired Kerry to consider all the possibilities at her fingertips.
So, what comes next?
Kerry also wanted to know what she should, and shouldn’t compromise on, when navigating this new stage of her career.
As a marketing and digital professional with 20 years’ experience, she wasn’t necessarily worried about being able to get a job, she just wanted to make sure it was the right job.
“When you’re feeling vulnerable and you’re in a transition period, you might be inclined to just take whichever opportunities come up. But Jenny helped me to get to the point where I realised I’m passionate about leading people, and I’m good at it, so I should make that a mandatory requirement for my new role.
“A redundancy can actually be an amazing time in someone’s life. You’ve got a bit of a pay out behind you, so you can afford to stop and wait for the right role. Jenny helped me to realise that it was too early in the process for me to be making any compromises.”
Kerry finished up at Westpac just three days before speaking with us for this interview. Her first walk was all about seeking clarity and gaining confidence. Next she wants to clearly define what she’s going to go after next.
“We get so caught up in day to day life. You don’t always take time to stop and reflect. Mentoring is such a nice way to do that.
“I also love that it was in lycra. That might sound a little silly, but being in active wear takes away the barriers of trying to look a certain way to impress this important person. It brings everything down onto a really approachable level,” she says.
“I felt really inspired and I was buzzing for ages. Mentor Walks is such a simple idea, but it was so well executed.”
Are you signed up to the next walk in your area? You can check out 2020 walk dates on our website now.