Sunday, October 12, 2008

Am I a good mentee candidate?

My local vocational services organization has a great mentoring program. You speak with the Mentor Coordinator about your interests and she matches you up with a mentor who works in your field of interest. The point is to meet with your mentor monthly, to discuss career goals and how to obtain those goals. When I heard about the program, I immediately signed up with enthusiasm.

I was matched with a woman who has worked in the marketing industry for over 30 years. We had a very nice dinner and talked about many different things related to my current and hopeful career. She gave me some good advice and pointers. When dinner was over, I didn’t feel like she had anything more to tell me, and didn’t see a point in meeting again. I thought to myself, “What more could she tell me that she hasn’t already?” Maybe it wasn’t the greatest match. So I got re matched and met with a woman who is the Public Relations Director for a local non-profit organization. She was great. She had many interesting things to tell me about the industry. I told her about my interests, my goals and what I’m doing to obtain them. She seemed to think I had everything planned out well. Perhaps so well that she couldn’t tell me anything else that I didn’t know already?

Am I a bad mentee candidate? Or am I just not meeting the correct mentor? Perhaps I simply don’t know what I want out of a mentor, and therefore not finding a good match. I’m hesitant to ask for a 3rd match for fear the match maker will confirm my thoughts that I’m not a good mentee candidate. Or maybe she’ll just think I’m extremely picky.


Gracie said...

I think your mentors need to help you dig a bit deep! I am in the same boat with you - I know there's got to be more for me to learn and explore - I just need some guidance in figuring that S out!

I recently went to a seminar about Generation Y in the workplace! It was AMAZING - I just kept saying mostly to myself but sometimes out lout - that's totally me, no wonder my team is totally jealous of how freakin awesome I am!

Good luck! I enjoy reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

I look to my mentors for help as things come up. Sometimes they don't know what to tell me, and I don't know what to ask until specific issues arise.

Leah Rae said...

It seems that the women you met with did not have a good sense of their roles as mentors. You certainly did your part of the work by setting up an appointment and sharing your questions and concerns. It seems that, as another commenter noted, mentoring is an on-going relationship. It think it would be a good idea to try and reconnect with one of these women (or look for another potential mentor) and explain that you are looking for more than just a one time meeting. Say that you want to meet regularly to discuss life at the office, potential job searches, networking strategies, etc. You may even want to create a formal plan with set goals/expectations for both the mentor and mentee.

Anonymous said...

Not having a mentor of my own, I can't say my thoughts on the subject have any value. I'll try anyway. I have always thought that one of the keys to a mentor/mentee relationship is a professional style friendship. You should feel comfortable with your mentor - such that it isnt always about asking questions, but about discussing your field. She/he can answer questions as they come up, but the ability to just chat about the field you are both in will allow for a continued professional relationship.