Mondays have a way of making or breaking a week. As the start of the week, this particular date could keep us fixated on what’s ahead, motivated by the activities we’ve got planned and the to-do lists we’re rapidly checking off. Or it can ruin us. A terrible Monday can take all the hope you had for the week and grind it up into nothing. How many of us have cried after a particularly mean Monday?
I am happy to report that yesterday was an amazing Monday, mostly due to the Pink Mentor Network, its inspiring panel of career & life coaches, the sponsor – Sherpa, and of course, Bold Missy Brewing. If you couldn’t attend, let me paint a picture for you: a sunny June evening at Charlotte’s first and only women-owned brewery, hosted by Charlotte’s first female mentorship mission, bringing in over 40 women from all walks of life. It was bound to be a successful night.
Before the official event had even begun, the room was buzzing. “I love this so much,” Stacy Cassio, the founder and CEO of Pink Mentor Network, gushed, “People are so excited to be here that they get here early!”
After everyone settled at their tables with their dinner and drinks (I highly recommend the Heart of Glass strawberry sour beer, inspired by Debbie Harry), we started with an exercise that asked us to plot a graph showing our career timelines in relation to our happiness/fulfillment levels. It forced us to not only look at where we are right now, but to look back at our journeys and to identify why we were most fulfilled at certain points of our careers versus the low points. From there, Stacy introduced our esteemed panelists; Tori Stevens, Sarah Urig, Jessica Lackey, Stephanie Hall, and Lisa Hildrith. We delved into questions of “the fear of the unknown” and ways to find fulfilling work. The closing of the panel struck quite a few people, including myself, when Lisa Hildrith stated, “Even a good thing can be bad if it’s not the best thing for you.” It was the perfect segue into the final portion of the night where each life/career coach spent fifteen minutes pitching their style of coaching. Each coach’s differing approach made the impact that much more meaningful. The exercises they had the audience do inspired tableside conversations that continued to the end of the event.
If you’ve never been to a Pop-Up Mentor event, and perhaps are worried about the awkwardness of doing it alone, let me give you this last advice: this isn’t like anything you’ve ever experienced before. Throw out your past times at networking events where the connections were forced, and you tried to get out of there as early as you could. My first time at a Pop-Up Mentor event, I walked into the room and was greeted like an old friend. Stacy Cassio, the founder and CEO of Pink Mentor Network will envelope you in the warmest, most authentic hug you’ve experienced in years. She will welcome you, turn to the group and introduce you, and from there it will feel as though you’ve known this group for a very long time.
What makes the Pink Mentor Network so unique is that there’s never a hidden agenda, unlike some other networking experiences. The mission statement says, “I’ve never met a woman I couldn’t learn from,” and it is the foundation for the entire organization. Women in the audience contribute to panel discussions. People speak up and are heard. The atmosphere at any of these gatherings can only be described as uplifting.
The Pink Mentor Network has created a safe space for the women in Charlotte to ask questions and be heard. But don’t take my word for it. It’s time for you to find out for yourself.
-Samantha Rosenfeld , Formative Storyteller