All About Mentors by Breathing Space Institute
App name: All About Mentors
Developer: Breathing Space Institute
Most of us proceed through our careers with little consistent advice,
direction, and feedback from qualified others. You might know somebody who’s
in the same line of business, have a boss from years back with whom you’ve
kept in touch, or even go to a seminar on how to be better at your job.
Having a mentor changes your career trajectory. With an effective mentor,
you have a consistent source of advice, direction, and feedback about your
career, perhaps for the first time. Ideally, a mentor is someone off of whom
you can bounce ideas. A mentor is someone who has a vested interest in your
success. He or she is willing to take the time and put in the effort to
ensure that you get the best ideas and advice that they have to offer.
You might ask, “Why would someone want to do this for me?” Actually, a
mentor/protégée relationship confers benefits to both parties. The mentor
receives satisfaction in helping a generally younger protégée. The mentor
also gets to vocalize and articulate accumulated knowledge and wisdom that
heretofore may not have seen the light of day. It’s reaffirming for a mentor
to provide advice to a protégée and have that protégée take the advice, run
with it, and achieve success.
This iPhone app, All About Mentors, is a simple but succinct plan for you
to find and work with a mentor. Each of the “cards”, in this deck of 101
tips, represents a vivid observation or vital recommendation to help benefit
from a mentor. There are no bells or whistles here. The tips are solid, the
progression is steady, and the results, for many, are highly admirable.
Potential mentors are all around us. Often, we don’t recognize viable
candidates. Mentors could be previous bosses, friends or relatives, or even
peers or higher-ups within your own organization. A mentor within your own
industry, but outside your organization, is perhaps best of all. This person
can give you an unfettered view of what’s going on industry wide without
being caught up in the politics of your particular organization. Also, they
will likely be unknown to your boss and others and, thus, can be a source of
reasonably objective input.
If you have not thus far benefitted from having a mentor in your career,
now is as good a time as any to identify potential candidates. Once you have
a few parties in mind, your initial contact is not in the order of “Hey,
would you like to be my mentor.” Rather, you invite this person to
breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and you talk about some issues you’re grappling
with. You see if he or she is interested in lending advice, and then you ask
if it would be okay to follow up in a week or two. In other words, from an
informal start, long and fruitful relationships can take hold.