Member Benefit Spotlight: CXPA's Mentoring Program

By Gabe Smith,CCXP posted 02-26-2020 02:43 PM


Merriam Webster defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” For Karl Sharicz, CCXP, the definition rings true. For Karl, the Founder & CEO of HorizonCX, LLC, there is never complete mastery—especially in a discipline as vast as CX--only experience to be shared and guidance offered. “I just say, I’ve done a bunch of work in this field. I’ve been through some fires. And I want to keep some other people from getting burned.”

For Charlotte Reel, who in 2018 was stepping into a newly-created CX position at Beacon Communities, LLC, Karl’s counsel—and his experience in the CX crucible--was exactly what she was seeking. “I was hoping to find someone who could offer me guidance on how to get started as a brand new CX practitioner, but my experience was well and beyond my expectations,” she says.
Charlotte and Karl developed a strong connection, relating to one another based on their passion for the disciplines of CX as well as learning and development. The fact that both were based in the Boston area was a plus, too. The relationship almost didn’t happen, though, because Charlotte worried that as a CX novice, she was too inexperienced to offer a compelling match to a prospective mentor. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to find someone that was willing to work with someone that was brand new…so I started to get nervous and think ‘oh, who’s going to want to work with me?’

Karl immediately put that concern to rest. “There is no such thing as being too new to CX,” he says emphatically.

In fact, Karl says, he values his role as a mentor not just for what he can teach, but what he can learn. “I seem to learn as much as they do in the process of doing this,” he says, laughing. “They’ll share with me things that they’re trying, and I’m thinking, ‘I never thought of that!’”

CXPA’s Mentor Match Program

Derik Iverson, CXPA’s Community Manager and administrator of the association’s mentor match program that brought Charlotte and Karl together, says that this experience is a common benefit for those who enroll. “Mentors have always given CXPA the feedback that from hearing what their mentees are going through at their own company, and helping them work through whatever those issues are to try to find a potential solution has really helped them in their own career development as well,” he says.

Enrollment in the program—which is open now—is the first step in what Derik says can be a transformative experience for mentor and mentee, calling the experience “an incredible way for members to really connect with each other to explore some of their most pressing CX questions in a safe and helpful way…you’re going to have the ear of somebody for at least one hour a month who has been through some of the same challenges you have.”

Putting it all Together

Charlotte says that those considering joining the program should make the leap. “It might be exactly what you need to move forward. The mentor will be there for you without judgment; they’ll be there to support you and to get you to advance to that next level.”

CXPA’s mentor match program is a member benefit, with enrollment open now. Not a member? Join now to unlock the mentor match program and other benefits.