My mentoring relationship evolved naturally, rather than as the result of a formal programme. I met Annette Capper in 2003, when I worked for Severn Trent Water. She was my line manager.
I had just graduated, so this was my first HR role, and she was my first real mentor. Annette moved away as did I in 2005, but she supported me through my application for my master’s degree in human resources management and through my CIPD qualifications.
Annette and I are both very keen on ongoing professional development, and she will push me into courses or areas that I am not particularly comfortable in – she tries to stretch me.
Even when we were no longer working together, Annette and I stayed in touch, and she even came to my wedding. We met for coffee or lunch and talked not just about work but about personal matters, too. She’s taught me a lot about the world of HR, what to expect from it, and how to deal with difficult issues – she has also helped me develop my self-confidence.
In October 2007 I moved to logistics company TDG, where I am once again reporting directly to Annette. I manage a team here, all of whom are studying for CIPD qualifications – I support them in the same way that Annette supported me when I was studying. We have a monthly catch-up meeting but will also take time to discuss current issues or any challenges that I need help addressing.
Annette helps me to view what I see as weaknesses as areas for development.