Odyssey mentoring was my first ever experience with an external mentoring program and I was approaching it with a slight apprehension. However, I began benefiting from it even before it started – just by having to stop and think about my professional and personal goals for the upcoming year. Later on, I was impressed by the sensitive and empathetic matching w/mentors in the program – I was the case of a mentee that completely misjudged the shortlist of desired mentors in correlation with my goals, but met with the helping hand of its coordinator. Throughout the year, my mentor, Monika Hovorkova, lead me on a way that was intense but revealing, and helped me sort out some of the fundamental priorities in my life – eg. career versus motherhood, as well as set me on a way of learning about my real passions and talents, and I am very thankful to Odyssey and everyone behind it for building the program to help young female professional grow.
Me and My Odyssey journey
I have always been very passionate about my work and put all my affords to achieve good results. When I was appointed to regional role as Development Manager of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services in YIT Group, I realized that being responsible for 6 different markets requires even more than plenty of time, energy and focus. I was lucky to become mentee of My Odyssey at the same time and meet my great mentor with Finnish origin who helped me to plan more precisely, have more strategic approach and lead me through some of challenging situation. After the intensive year with My Odyssey I was more confident, closer to my team seated across Europe, understanding different cultures and way of their communication. My former mentor and myself become good business friends and we continue in good cooperation until nowadays.
I ought to mention that My Odyssey journey continued even after the official year, thanks to awesome lady originally from the USA who I met at joined Odyssey events. She became my coach during the time when I was preparing to leave to my maternity leave. Thanks to very efficient cooperation, her help and understanding I was promoted to Customer Experience Director Central Eastern Europe when I returned at work full time.
The journey with My Odyssey have helped me not only achieved my desired carrier goals, but more importantly allowed me to meet great business people and friends, set the right work-life balance and create my life values.
Alena is the Head of Digital marketing at a Group corporation owned by one of Czech’s most successful enterpreneur. The position she holds is a newly created one and the field of online marketing is therefore relatively new for everybody, including the top management. Approximately half a year after her appointment, she was about to have a big presentation in front of the executive board, including the owner himself. She was well aware of the fact that in just one short presentation, she has to explain the general working of the field, show the results of her team and legitimize her own position. Naturally, she felt very nervous. When consulting it with her Odyssey mentor, they agreed they would invite a journalist to help Alena clarify the message she wanted to convey and translate her speech to simplier terms, that even non-specialists would understand. That helped Alena significantly and she felt very confident at the presentation. Soon, she got an invitation to take part on the decision-making process of the whole Group.
Renata is a marketing director of a financial institution, whose brand she helped create almost from scratch. During her assignment, she worked hard to built a unique brand, which the public very soon recognized and got to like. Nevertheless, the necessary reorganization of the company caused by unstable economic situation, landed on Radka’s shoulders with no exception. She had to abandon the work she really loved and start looking for a suitable position. But it was clear that such a specialized function can only be found in large corporations, which narrowed the job search even further. So she made the search the main focus of her mentoring sessions and together with her mentor created a plan of an intensive job search. They worked on identifying her strongest assets, creating her personal brand and finding ways to “sell” herself and her bigest successes. Within a couple of months, Renata found an appropriate job, where she’s happy.
Radka found out that she’s pregnant with her second child soon after she started meeting her Odyssey mentor. After having spent her first maternity leave at home, she was sure she doesn’t want to quit working entirely. She wanted to stay with her beloved company, but ideally in a part-time assignment. But there’s an overall shortage of part-time jobs in the Czech republic (only 10 percent of all assignments are part time as opposed to 30 percent in Canada).
She went with her mentor over all possible scenarios and arrived at a perfect strategy how to create a new part-time position in her department. The strategy consisted of a plan how to announce this change to her boss, focusing on the many benefits this new situation will bring to her company. In the end, her boss accepted the plan without further discussion, even if part-time assignments weren’t at all common in his department. He wouldn’t probably feel so positive about Radka just stating that she’s pregnant. But a detailed and perfectly thought-through plan about how and when will Radka return back to work, won his trust.