Mentoring is for the weak

StrongFamilies-1 copyThis is a common mentoring myth.

In fact, mentoring is a proactive form of professional development with the potential to impact everything from the size of one’s professional network to one’s advancement rate and job satisfaction. A good mentor simply shows someone how to get from where (s)he is to where (s)he wants to be. Most successful professionals have had someone to guide them at some point in their careers. Have you?

Share your experiences by leaving a comment here.

About Erin Thomas

Erin L. Thomas, Gender Diversity Specialist, works to develop systematic approaches for the representation, development and advancement of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers at Argonne while engaging both female and male staff. Dr. Thomas has a PhD in Social Psychology from Yale University, where she conducted research on race and gender perceptions in workplace, economic and social policy contexts. She also received bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and International Studies and a master’s of science from Yale.
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3 Responses to Mentoring is for the weak

  1. Joseph Bernstein says:

    This is, indeed, a myth. People who think they did it all by themselves are, of course, kidding themselves. All successful professionals have benefitted from mentoring in some form or another, whether it be as part of a formal program or more organic.

    I would turn it around and say that people who are good at developing mentoring relationships are very likely to be highly successful. This is a great reason to help folks who are not naturally so good at developing such relations a hand up by providing structured mentoring programs.

  2. Tina Henne says:

    From the mentor’s perspective, mentoring is a way to really get in tune with the changing landscapes of your profession. From my interactions with those who have sought mentoring from me–whether student or postdoc–I have learned a lot that has helped develop my own problem solving skills. It is definitely a mutually beneficial process.

  3. The myth stems from perfectionism in my opinion. Stems from the idea that each of us should be outstanding in **every** quality our jobs entails. While each of us has innate qualities (which we often give for granted), others abilities need some work (this is where the struggle happens, or where we place less value on).
    Good mentoring fosters the entire landscape.

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