Skip to main content

Suggestion 2: Use your networks, but don’t abuse your networks.

 I know you're using your networks. After all, you're being proactive about searching out what you need. But this post is all about being prepared so your mentor isn't having to do your work for you.

 

Mentors don't mind helping out at all. That's what mentoring is. But don’t make me do your work for you because then you stick out in my mind - and not always in a good way. A few suggestions about being prepared:

 

You can ask for an informational interview but understand that I many not want to do it in person. Given all the demands on everyone's time these days, asking for 15-20 minutes by phone during a weekday is reasonable to request. Some people you contact may want to go to lunch, but most of my colleagues and I now prefer you get concentrated discussion time on the phone.

Do prep and study before an informational interview whether by phone or email. Make sure you've looked up both my organization and me. And then take time to think about the contact with me. Don't call me and ask me all about my job and my background. And don't respond with empty space to my question about what specifically you are exploring. After all, you contacted me, so be clear in your mind about specifically how I can help you.

 

I have network connections but I cannot necessarily connect you with each and every person I know. I will try to connect you to get started, but remember that a mentor isn't your personal secretary to contact every colleague in all the organizations to which you're applying.

 

Save your CV with informative filename such as CV_John_Trencher_Jan_10.doc not a title like CV_for_Sue.doc. You cannot believe how many I get like this. I don't always save those unless it's worth my time to change the filename when I'm saving it. And, if I don't have it saved on my HDD, then it's unlikely I'll take the time to pass it on.

 

Take the time to make sure your CV is spell-checked and has a date on it (at the end or in a footer). If I see spelling errors, I will be less likely to pass this on to my network. (Do I need to tell you why?!?)

Posted via email from suegriffey's posterous

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mrs. Griffey,

    Ms. Penny Jessop at Tulane, where I am pursuing my MPH, referred me to your blog. I'm in the process right now of trying to find my dream job and I think I've gotten a few good pointers from your blog. Thank you!

    I do have a question for you, however. Could you please clarify what you mean when you say don't call for an informational interview and ask about your job. Even if I have researched the company and the position is it appropriate to ask what day to day work is like in that position? Are there certain types of questions that you see as better for this type of contact?

    Thanks for your mentoring!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mentor: Anita Gibson, Deputy Director, MCSP (Maternal and Child Survival Program)

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Anita Gibson's responses:
What are mentees looking for? A sense of different paths one can take in international health and strategies to reach both personal and professional goals. 

What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with? Solid field experience is invaluable. Learning how to work effectively with multiple stakeholders and colleagues with varying world views is not straightforward.  These skills come with experience - particularly field experience. 

Why are you interested in mentoring? Admittedly, I haven't sought out mentoring opportunities; rather, I sort of fell into them, particularly with more junior colleagues with whom I work.  After years of advancing my career while raising a family in the US and overseas, I find that colleagues are quite interested in how to achieve both job satisfaction and work-life balance.  I certainly d…

Mentor: Linda Fogarty, Senior Director, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research, Jhpiego

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Linda Fogarty’s responses.

What are mentees looking for?
They want someone to help them believe in themselves, clarify their strengths and passion and their own professional goals
Helping them understand what their best is and how they can be their best

What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with?
You need to fight for yourself. Understand your professional value and provide that to others.

Why are you interested in mentoring?
It’s very satisfying to see mentee growth and development and how they transform themselves.

Miley Cyrus and Me? Yes, Miley Cyrus and Me! ... or How The Voice Demonstrates #Mentoring

It’s always a surprise to people when they find out how much I love TV – and The Voice is in my top 10!
Let’s rewind to mid-2016 – when I noticed ads for The Voice as I was fast-forwarding through commercials. Imagine my surprise when the ads showed Miley Cyrus joining the team as a coach.
I thought: Really? As a Guest Coach – ? She has been so outrageous for the past couple years – and not exactly a good role model.
It didn’t seem a “good” choice to me.

But I love watching The Voice so that overrode my initial reactions.
In one of the first shows of Season 11, Miley had an intense look, as you can see in the photo. It struck me that this must be how I look when I’m on a telcon mentoring session (because suddenly I’ll realize I’ve been so focused on listening and the interaction that I haven’t taken a note or looked at the clock).
And then in the Knockouts (after Belle sang), she said, “I think I'll learn a lot and grow a lot in this experience too.”
My AHA moment (besides realizing my …