Skip to main content

A mentor is like a mirror: Even a senior (expert) needs - and wants - mentoring #mentor (SueMentors.Blogspot.com)

I haven’t been posting for the past 3 months because of an extremely busy time. But I have been mentoring – and in ways that were surprising to me.

In July-September, we at Social & Scientific Systems (SSS) were unexpectedly were facing the sooner-than-expected project close-out, and it meant that several staff needed to be looking for new jobs. I wasn’t surprised that some of the staff – mostly those still early in their careers – were asking for my help in updating their resumes.

I was more surprised to have two very senior and experienced professionals ask for my help. When they gave me their resumes to review before we met, I realized that both were examples of why a mentor can be useful, no matter how far along you are in your career.

One had an illustrious and varied career and many qualifications prior to coming to SSS two years ago. But her resume read like someone who had just finished graduate school. She was very detailed in listing all the things she did (both in her SSS job and before). She did not, however, really describe her senior-level work. When we sat down together and I asked her to describe her present previous job, she really didn’t sell herself. When I asked her to listen to my brief descriptions of what I knew her roles to be, however, she agreed that what I described was her real work.

It turned out that she just needed a mirror to reflect back to her what her skills and experience really had been – so her resume would show that.

The second is a real go-getter and, because of her varied qualifications and experiences, she could fit into different types of work opportunities, not just in the narrow niche in which she’d been working at SSS for the past 7 years. Her resume, when she sent it to me, also sounded like a laundry list of specific tasks, even when she grouped them under useful headings such as project management experience. When we met to discuss her resume, she said her challenge was trying to understand – and then convey in writing – how her seemingly narrowly-focused skills could be applied to different kinds of job opportunities. We discussed where we both thought some relevant job opportunities would be available and I walked her through how better to group and describe her skills and experience. In addition, I recommended that she begin to look at websites of organizations where she might want to work so she could examine their specific job postings. This would give her an even better idea of how to specifically focus her CV.

And these experiences reminded me that even seniors need a mentor sometimes, no matter how expert they are.

Posted via email from sue griffey's posterous

Comments

  1. great advice- the mirror to reflect back what someone's skills, experiences really had been.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. This is definitely a nice post. Great works. Thanks for sharing with all of us.Keep posting more.
    It really helps me. I'll follow you regularly. Thanks
    If anyone is Looking for a international Engineering Jobs specially Nigerian citizens must check this site Merchant Marine Jobs opportunity

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

2017 – Sue’s Year in Review

The last time I did a Year in Review was at the end of 2014. (See Sue's Year in Review, http://www.suementors.com/2014/12/sues-year-in-review.html.)
It was one of my first real forays into better communications and dataviz – and I have learned more since then. It’s been helpful that so many evaluators and others are blogging about improvements in communicating our work and even offering free courses and YouTube videos.

The infographic shows what I’ve done and I’m so really happy that my blogging is back – and on the upswing! It’s been wonderful to be able to use my mentoring skills in so many different ways this year - and even to start working on a second journal article.
But doing the review also made me realize what it doesn’t show from 2017: -14 weeks of hospital and acute rehab weeks and 6 of rehab-on-the-mend weeks (including 1 missed-vacation-in-Florida week because I couldn’t fly) for hip-related care -30 days of vacation trips in Wisconsin, St. Thomas (during Hurricane Irma …

Realizing a BIG goal - or What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Since I formally incorporated providing external mentoring about a decade ago, I have had a goal of reaching a wider audience. I kept up on various technologies and mostly kept a list of ideas every time I saw an opportunity for a 1-to-many outreach. I thought about doing 30-second daily mentor tip using SoundCloud (audio recording) after seeing how Baratunde Thurston was using it to reach people. Then I explored hosting a Google Hangout to 'broadcast' to anyone anywhere but the initial Hangout software wasn’t really very user-friendly. I even got Snapchat glasses a few years ago thinking they might help me make video clips to share, but they weren’t a solution either.

Well, I never got very far on any of these or others although I did expand my mentoring 'coverage' to working with more formal programs as well as mentoring individual clients.
Several months ago, I was able to expand the mentoring seminars, workshops and consultations I had been doing with my public healt…

Mentor: Barbara Rawlins, Monitoring and Evaluation Team Leader, 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 Barbara Rawlins’ responses:
What are mentees looking for? · Career guidance · Technical advice · Moral support · Advice on how to negotiate politically-sensitive or controversial situation
What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with? Figure out what they want to do (in the long term) and what steps they can take to get there
Why are you interested in mentoring? To support younger colleagues, especially women, to help attain their career goals