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janelle-miller.jpgThe ASIS Security Leaders Mentoring Program is designed to help you advance your career and engage and connect with ASIS International's global network of security professionals. We sat down with Janelle Miller, a current mentor in the program, to discuss her experience mentoring and what advice she has for people interested in the program. Janelle has been an ASIS member for five years and a mentor for nearly three years.

  1. What motivated you to mentor in the ASIS Mentoring Program and can you share a profound mentoring moment or impactful advice?

Mentoring is an important element to career fulfillment. In giving back to your community, you can make a positive difference in someone else’s career path. I’ve learned many things over the years, and I wanted to share that knowledge and expertise with those who are open to learning more. Impactful advice that I have used throughout my career, to include mentoring, is to not just give advice, but to listen as well. Each person is unique in their own way and has different skill sets. It’s important to understand what those are and where the person wants to go in his/her career. There is not one-size-fits-all in mentoring. 

  1. What proven methods enhance mentor-mentee connections? Could you provide an illustrative success story? 

The mentor-mentee connection needs to be authentic. The mentee should be true to who they are and what they want to accomplish with a mentor. The mentor should be available when agreeing to mentor, and the mentee should take charge of reaching out to the mentor in the beginning. One of my success stories was mentoring a young woman new to the security industry.  She was authentic to who she was and where she wanted to go with her career. For example, she knew she didn’t want to work in law enforcement but wanted a different career path in security. I asked her to name 3 career or personal accomplishments. At our next meeting she named 1 from her professional career and 2 from her personal life. Even though she was new to the security industry, she was able to name 3 accomplishments. We spoke about each one, and she realized that she could now put those accomplishments into perspective. We continued our conversations over several months and she became more in tune with her skill set and what she needed to learn on the road ahead.

  1. What guidance do you offer novice ASIS Mentoring Program mentors? Have you faced typical obstacles and how did you surmount them?

Novice mentors should be able to articulate the importance of mentoring and what they've learned through their own mentors. The typical obstacle that I’ve seen is the mentee’s not reaching out to the mentor after the initial introduction. Mentors should be available and reach out if they haven’t heard from the mentee. In the initial call, it's important for the mentee to explain what they want from the relationship.

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