At work as a Developer, do you have a mentor who helps you to grow professionally? In an official capacity as part of their job?— Tobi (@tpflug) 20 February 2018
If not, is that something you feel you are lacking?
Tell me about it!
There’s a single word that makes all the difference in this set of questions. It’s feel. Do you feel you are lacking a mentor? How does that even feel like?
For the past couple years, I never felt it. If someone had asked me that question, I wouldn’t have known how to answer it. Looking back on it, I did feel it, I just didn’t realize that I was constantly looking for mentorship and didn’t know it. But I did know a couple things:
- I felt like my personal growth had stagnated.
- I wanted to learn new things, but didn’t know what to start with.
- I had a lot of questions but didn’t trust anyone enough to ask them.
I was lacking mentorship. I just didn’t know it yet. And I think there are a lot of people out there who may be having similar feelings to mine and don’t know what to make of them. So, for those of you out there going through this, I have 2 things I’d like to tell you:
- You’re not alone. There are others in the same position as us.
- There are plenty of people who would love to mentor you. You’ll have to do a bit of searching, but it’s worth it.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself, what does a mentor look like? There’s only one answer to that question, and that is that there is no answer. But there are ways to find them. Join local communities like Meetups and talk to people. After joining a couple times you’ll have list of people you share interests with and who you can look up to. Every one of those is a potential mentor. Perhaps the hardest part is letting others know that you’re looking for mentors, but remember that you’re not alone and others will be sympathetic to your quest.
I’m extremely lucky to have found my mentors by accident. I didn’t really set out to be an apprentice or look for mentors, it just sort of happened. And I’m very grateful and glad it did.