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Discovering Your Best Self

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Paulette Goodrich (right) discussing goals with her mentee at the WISE Within SF/Bay Area group kick-off session.

I admire any person who wants to be mentored.

In mentoring, we acknowledge that this person is seeking more; she is searching for that perfect job and oftentimes for answers as they relate not only to her career, but to her personal life and relationships as well. The end result can provide the mentee with a more complete picture of herself and where she is headed. It becomes somewhat of a transformation, something I understand well.

Striving for Excellence

When I was in my 30s, I realized that I wanted to be my very best every day, and I developed a tagline, one that I still live by: Keep getting better. For me, it’s about striving for excellence in how I feel, how I think and how I behave with others on several fronts — in career, in sport and in relationships.

In my life, that has meant experiencing three careers: I was a dental hygienist, I did hospitality/tourism marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue San Francisco, and I served as the director of special events for the San Francisco Symphony; it has meant taking sports classes in my free time to understand my body better and further enjoy and excel in the sports I choose to participate in; and it has meant raising two beautiful, successful daughters, the very best thing I have ever done. There is a great way to live life; it’s just a matter of finding it.

Self-improvement and Self-fulfillment

The journey of self-improvement and self-fulfillment will not be the same for everyone, but gaining a greater understanding of one’s short- and long-term goals goes a long way: Am I happy today? Will I be happy here in five years? Will I be happy here in 20?

Figuring out the answers to these questions is an insightful and liberating process. Going the distance — identifying the small steps in the beginning that will lead to the very big result in the end and everything in between — is what I zero in on with my mentees while offering support and reassurance.

When mentoring, I bring my professional experiences and the choices I have made in life to the table in the hope that I can not only help the person learn more about herself, but encourage her to aspire to even more. It’s why she is there; it’s why we as members of WISE and participants of WISE Within are all there — to keep getting better.


Paulette Goodrich

About Paulette Goodrich

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area and retired director of special events and volunteer services for the San Francisco Symphony, Paulette Goodrich graduated from University of California, San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree in dentistry. Goodrich began her professional life as a dental hygienist before moving on to a variety of other roles, including chairman of the San Francisco Symphony volunteer council serving on the board of governors and director of hospitality/tourism marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue San Francisco. Her philanthropic involvement includes work with the Yosemite Conservancy, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Foundation of City College of San Francisco, WISE and the San Francisco League of the San Francisco Symphony. Goodrich has two daughters and five grandchildren.

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