How a Mentor Can Help Your Career

I don’t know about you, but sometimes you need help you with your career. You need someone to help you with a career decision or to even to call you out on your BS and tell you I know you can do better, followed by a huge kick in the right direction!

Last Monday night I had the pleasure of attending DiversiTech312, an evening of networking and speed mentoring for women, people of color, members of the LGBT community and those with disabilities who are interested in a career in the tech sector, created by Mobile Makers Academy, Dev Bootcamp, Ms. Tech and Girl Develop It Chicago.

One point that was continually mentioned by the panel was the idea of rebranding tech. We need to rebrand tech to say “hey you, YOU belong here”. That all begins with people who are already in tech showing up and saying to everyone WE BELONG here and I’m here to help you. That’s exactly why we need mentors and networking events, so we can connect with others!

At the event attendees split into groups with one mentor and up to 4 attendees. Attendees had the opportunity to meet experienced mentors in the community to gain guidance, inspiration, and ask any burning questions they had.

I got the pleasure of being a mentor. You’re probably thinking at your young age and being early in your career what could YOU share? I’m not going to lie I was thinking that exact same thing at first….  After this experience I realized when looking for a mentor age or length of career don’t matter. What matters are your experiences and your willingness to share knowledge and information.

I met with a handful of people who asked really great questions from “how did you decide what to for your career” to “what field should I look into”? It was wonderful to give others guidance and share my resources. But not only did they learn from me, I learned from them too! I learned new perspectives and new avenues to explore from all their questions and experiences. I also learned that at the end of the day you might not find all the qualities you want for a mentor in ONE person. But it takes a village to raise a child, so why can’t you have a team to help your career?

What do you look for in a mentor? Do you think you NEED a mentor?

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