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The WOW Factor: Insights from Women of Orbitz Worldwide’s Panel on Mentoring

Last month, I had the privilege of joining Women of Orbitz Worldwide, known as WOW—and, wow, is right! The group focuses on supporting and promoting women, coupled with a commitment to create opportunities for Orbitz employees to share their career journeys with fellow colleagues. With that in mind, WOW organized an engaging panel presentation titled, “How Mentoring Can Affect Your Career.”

As a co-founder of ARA, I am a strong advocate for mentoring and the immense impact these relationships can bring to one’s career. Both panel moderator and panelists offered insightful advice related to the power of mentorship. The presenters discussed the necessity of using the word “mentor” as a verb—meaning, when it comes to our careers, it is in our hands to move them forward, soliciting help, support, advice, champions, coaches, and MENTORS along the way.

I was thrilled to be included as part of the post-panel program to share information about ARA, our mission, programming, and goals. More importantly, however, I walked away renewed and inspired by the advice the panel shared. Below, I’ve recapped a few actionable takeaways from the event – all of which relate to career trajectory and how mentoring can make an impact:

Peggy Bianco, Global Vice President, Global Hotel Services

Know what you want and need, and take action to ask, don’t wait. Success is about going after the right people to engage in the conversations that will help you to move from one place to the next. Always consider what you have to offer in those mentoring relationships and conversations because it is a two-way street.

Shelly DeMott, Vice President, Product Strategy

Self-awareness is essential. It allows you to take control of the direction in which you are progressing, as well as know when and who to ask for advice, guidance, and support along the way.

Jill Henry, Senior Director, Technology

When considering the direction of your career, listening becomes in integral piece of the success equation. Being challenged at every bend in the road is extremely important. Learning comes with being challenged, while growth results from rising to meet those challenges with creative and innovative solutions.

Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, Vice President, Global Customer Experience Services

Be. Do. Have. Be open-minded and aware of your surroundings as well as the people who are demonstrating what you are seeking. Do what you need to do to emulate that behavior in order to move forward. The sum of the two will allow you to have what you are seeking.

Frank Petito, President, Orbitz for Business

Understand the importance of communication in achieving the results you are seeking and the impact of adjusting your communication style to successfully work with others. Be “planful,” surround yourself with people you respect and admire, particularly those who have the expertise to provide the guidance. Finally, make your mark. As you navigate your career and make either internal or external company moves, reflect on whether you have made a mark and take the response into consideration before deciding to leave the role/company for another.

I hope you find these words of wisdom as valuable—and inspiring—as I did!