30 Aug

When I interviewed Angela, she touted the importance of mentors in her career development. Then my niece visited last week right before she’s off to college (eek!) and I thought about pulling her down to my office to talk to her about my career in publishing. I know this is a bit self-centered, but I thought it would be interesting to hear from someone else who has turned a liberal arts degree into a professional career. She’s going into creative writing, so I’m hoping over the years we will talk about what I’ve learned, but I know she really probably won’t be illuminated by my List of Excel Etiquette Rules or Forecasting for Fall Inventory Needs. I’m not sure what I have to offer her, especially without the interest coming directly from her.

I’ve never had a mentor, at least in name, have you? Then my company sent out its annual mentorship program announcement. This got me to really thinking about my own reluctance to ask someone to be a mentor.

People have unwittingly mentored me, and I was oblivious myself at the time. I got enough courage once to tell the former owner of the bookstore where I worked that she was something of a mentor to me. Her career is on my mind when I think of work/life balance and entrepreneurship. I had no mentor in college, though, especially to advise me about what options would be available to me, or how to get promotions, or even what tracks in publishing I could follow. This is mostly, though, because I’m shy to ask.

Also, I’m reluctant to ask for mentors in blogging. I feel like I should understand it, and I do have a pretty clear idea of many details. But, that’s the same with work: I understand it, I’m good at my tasks, but when it comes to what’s next, maybe that’s what a mentor can offer. I figure if I’m here at She Has Moxie posting about how we can help each other by asking for advice, sharing our stories, brainstorming, supporting, I should be able to do the same in my own activities. So maybe I’ll sign up for that work mentorship.

One Response to “Mentors”

  1. Erin August 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I signed up 🙂 1st time for everything!

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