Mentorship is an evergreen topic of discussion amongst leaders and those aspiring to it. Wonderfully, today the conversation continues to evolve to intersect with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion to unpack the need for not just formal mentorship, but sponsorship and organizational responsibility.
But for many who work either alone, freelance or are just not supported at work, this is a journey they must take personal responsibility for. I firmly believe that in fact, any professional who cares deeply about their career needs to cultivate a healthy “third space” outside of work and home life. A professional sphere where they are not defined by their job title or technical capabilities. For me, a new world was opened up when I read the work of Dorie Clark pushing past the scarcity of the “gig economy” and instead proposing that we are all consultants now ( since hey, who will have a job for life any more ) and we hold “portfolio careers”.
On top of this concept that we will be flexible in our work space and the work we do over a lifetime of work, is the idea that we need to be creative and flexible in the mentors we seek too.
Yes, mentors with an “s”. You need multiple, and in fact when I’ve supported peers to really sit down and think about it, we all have several but it’s not a thought out process. And there’s nothing more dangerous than a mentor you didn’t choose. [Read more…]