How a panel turned into more
I was scheduled to speak at a young women’s empowerment event. Prior to my session, I heard a panel of women who were in a variety of roles in the health industry. The women were smart, go-getters, and dropped a ton of knowledge. They were natural career mentors.
The students asked solid questions . And the audience was attentive.
However, I was intrigued by what occurred when the panel ended.
When you step out of your comfort zone
A few brave girls shyly went up to the front of the room and approached the panel. They thanked the panelists and asked if they could ask a few questions. One of the panelists invited the girls to visit her workplace after she saw their enthusiasm.
It was amazing to witness. The girls were so excited that they met someone who took an interest in their future career goals.
Why asking questions will help your future career
I was smiling for a different reason. I was excited that the girls conquered their fears and asked questions of the career mentors. I knew that they were one step closer to their career goals. They were willing to “do it” with the fear standing beside them.
For example, one of the panelists shared details about a college mentoring program. It helped her land her first industry internship. The panelist started sharing tips that the girls could use to make themselves more competitive for this program. Tips BEFORE they get to college. Things like even knowing how to find the program once they got on campus.
I’ve sat on selection committees for programs like this. I know this will help them when they fill out their applications. It will help them rank more strongly on their essays because they will have keen insight into what the program really wants.
That is such a game-changer. The girls have a few years to get ready. But now they have someone who can help them prepare. Someone who has been there and “done that” can light the way.
I wish there were more mentoring programs. We need hundreds so that our young women can be exposed to every field, industry, and option.
What you can do to solve the lack of mentors
I challenge you to ask questions. Get your daughters to conquer their fears and ask questions before or after panelists speak. Come up with a list of questions in advance and ask one or two. Encourage them to speak up. Attend career events. Ask for what they want. Be willing to hear new ideas. Talk to the panelists after the event.
You may never know what goodness may be in store! And what career opportunities may come in the future.
That’s worth gold!!!