Maybe you missed the episode of Seinfeld devoted to mocking mentoring. If so, it was funny. Not an accurate portrayal of mentoring, of course, but funny.
Mentoring can be a formal process within a company, but it’s not limited to that, and with the Internet, mentors don’t even have to know they’re mentoring! At its heart, mentoring is an effective way of transferring industry/corporate/executive knowledge where a junior employee can observe and question a senior employee. Eyes-on help, certainly, but it’s the interaction that is priceless. With such services as LinkedIn and Facebook, mentoring can be an informal, virtual experience.
We’ve talked about building networks to find employment; it also serves as a treasure trove for learning. Simply post a question and numerous altruistic executives will answer. You may get conflicting views, which is a great way to build a comprehensive picture.
This blog is just such an opportunity. We get hundreds of hits a week with almost no questions. ASK! It’s free, and the beginning of a magnificent professional practice — looking to people further along the path than you are is the best way to catch up.
Or you can take the Seinfeld approach and ask George, Elaine, or heaven-forbid, Kramer or Newman. Your peer group may have solid information; your elders almost certainly do. Check them out!
Career Services International – www.careersi.com
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