I recently had the opportunity and pleasure to be part of the inaugural Women in Insolvency and Restructuring Queensland Inc. (WIRQ) Mentoring program.
I joined the WIRQ Mentoring program for a range of reasons.
I personally have some amazing and insightful mentors who have invested their time and expertise in developing my career and for which I am forever grateful for their guidance and support; it’s helped me build 23LEGAL and they continue to join me on this journey.
I wanted to pay that forward and provide access to my different and unique perspective drawing from my experience in traditional law firm structures to having founded 23LEGAL, an innovative and virtual commercial litigation and insolvency firm whose passion is driven in helping you solve the most complex problems which you experience, not just for today but for the future.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with WIRQ they are an amazing not-for-profit professional organisation which aims to promote women and diversity within the insolvency and restructuring industry and the broader community by providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.
WIRQ has been one of the organisations I have been a member of and have supporting over the past few years and they have been pushing hard over the past few years to achieve their mission. They are famous for their annual sports lunch but host a range of interesting and engaging events throughout the year and are definitely worth heading along to.
I was partnered with Lachlan Milroy, a graduate accountant in the insolvency team at Vincents. I gave Lachlan access to my calendar through my BD automation system (which I’ll let you in on some of the secrets around this soon enough) and let him schedule mentoring catchups whenever he was able to. We met regularly over the course of the mentoring programme to talk about his career and life aspirations and to give him some guidance and goals to take control over his career.
It has been my mantra for quite some time that the only person who can take responsibility for your career is you.
Law firms, accounting/insolvency firms or businesses in general have their own organisational goals and focuses and whilst you are (hopefully) an important part of those goals only you know where your career is headed, and you are the only one steering the ship. Your employer will guide you in certain respects but on the whole they are more focused in what you can do for the business and it’s up to you to steer your career where you want it to go.
This is not to say that your employer doesn’t want to see you succeed, far from it; in fact they most likely want you to succeed as it will help them achieve their goals. Where the disconnect happens is that the day to day focus on your success can only come from within yourself and not from external people who may not have the same goals as you.
A 12-week mentoring program was no easy task. Mentorship takes time and commitment to develop a level of trust and belief in the feedback you are receiving but also to understand the relationship you are building. Fortunately both Lachlan and I came into the program raring and ready to go so we quickly got things moving.
I wanted to make the 12-week program as valuable as possible for Lachlan. Our first meeting was likely a bit intense as he probably didn’t know what to expect and he immediately got homework (hopefully no flashbacks to high school or Uni assignments for him).
The first meeting focused on getting Lachlan to think about what he could meaningfully achieve in the next 12 weeks and what steps he could put in place which I could help him with to achieve those goals. One of the tools which I am a massive fan of is a 30|60|90 Plan so I repurposed the template which I use internally for 23LEGAL to give him a foundation. I have put together a basic 30|60|90 template which can be downloaded from our new website CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD NOW and you are welcome to use this to help push your goals and take your career to the next level.
Lachlan didn’t shy away from the challenge, putting a lot of detailed thought into what would be meaningful for him over the 12 weeks and what he could draw from my experience. So we had the plan, now he had to execute it.
Over the next 12 weeks, Lachlan and I worked through his plan, fine-tuned the steps and he was able to achieve some excellent outcomes particularly focused on:
It was a great experience to be a mentor to Lachlan and to support the inaugural WIRQ Mentorship Program. I will definitely be back for round 2 next year and look forward to following along Lachlan’s career as it develops.