Tuesday, February 19, 2013


AAM has a post today about finding a mentor, and she solicited input from folks who had formal and informal mentor relationships.

As I mentioned a while ago, I have never suffered from micro (or really, any) management. So I certainly never had a formal mentor relationship, one where I had regular (weekly?) meetings scheduled and some sort of planned progression.

Because of that, I've always found my own mentors. I badgered Technical Advisor when I was stumped on some of my analyses in grad school. And I've always worked with older geologists who were happy to expound on why their way was best give advice. I admit that I've never scheduled a meeting to discuss Career Advice, but instead have worked those discussions into reviews, requests for references and other times when it seemed appropriate.

I've never worked with someone who I truly wanted to emulate professionally and personally. Instead, I've admired (and asked about) different facets - whether it's an amazing manager who knows a lot about the industry, a technical expert on something I'm interested in, or another female geologist who's overcome shyness to become a fearsome field lead.

With that said, I don't have any problem at all with a more formal mentoring relationship. I used to work with someone who did schedule a lunch date with me to discuss career advancement in the consulting business right after she was hired. I was a little taken aback initially, because that's not my style. But I was happy to oblige and we had a lovely discussion. I suppose that wasn't a truly formal mentoring relationship - has anyone else had one?

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

I never had a formal mentoring relationship, either, and going in the other direction, all my mentees have been mentored by me in informal and sometimes haphazard relationships. Nowadays, some companies do have formal mentorships, or something I would consider formal, anyway.

I have, on the other hand, suffered from what I would consider micromanagement, probably twice, and mostly after years or even decades of doing almost whatever I thought was best (which seemed kind of stressful to me when I was starting out).

I wish I had time to write more about this on my blog, and so I'll file the subject away as a possible future topic.