Start the new year by celebrating mentors

The new year presents an opportunity to launch new goals or reboot existing ones. While holding true to our new year’s resolutions may seem daunting, the support of mentors can help us to succeed.

January is National Mentoring Month making it the perfect time to reflect on what it means to be a mentor and how mentors help us to learn, grow and achieve our goals.

This month, we encourage the Argonne community to think about how we can celebrate our roles as mentors and how we can show appreciation to those who have mentored us. There are a couple key dates to encourage sharing our stories.

Jan. 8 is “I Am A Mentor” Day. On this day, we encourage mentors to reflect on how being a mentor has enriched their lives and to celebrate this mutually beneficial relationship. Several Argonne mentors have expressed the many benefits of being a mentor – advancing your own learning and personal growth, honing skills, expanding networks, and the enjoyment of feeling valued and giving back to the next generation. Please consider sharing your own story with your mentees or on your social media pages.

On Jan. 30, National Mentoring Month will come to a close with “Thank Your Mentor” Day. Last year, we celebrated this day with a campaign encouraging people to recognize their mentors on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) using the hashtag #ThankYourMentor. Several mentor-mentee pairs were featured on Argonne social media with the #ThankYourMentor sign. We plan to do the same this year and want to feature as many mentors and mentees as possible on Argonne’s social media channels on Jan. 30.

Justin Breaux (CPA), digital social media producer, will be available to take photos to be featured on social media for “Thank Your Mentor Day.” If you are interested, please talk to your mentor and complete this Doodle Poll to schedule a time for a quick photo.

Here are a few other ideas to thank your mentor:

  • Give your mentor a core values shout-out
  • Send your mentor a nice, handwritten thank you note
  • Offer your mentor a cup of coffee and share what you’ve learned from them
  • Write a recommendation for your mentor on LinkedIn
  • Stop by their office and just say, “Thanks!”
  • Pay it forward by mentoring someone else

Helping each other grow and accomplish individual, group, and laboratory goals is a hallmark of mentorship and our core value of Teamwork. There are many small gestures you can make to show your appreciation. Choose one and let everyone know what a great mentor you have!


About Kristene Henne

Kristene “Tina” Henne is Argonne’s Postdoctoral Program Lead for the Argonne Leadership Institute. In this role, she facilitates the postdoc appointment process, postdoc career development, mentoring, advises the Postdoctoral Society of Argonne and serves as a navigator for postdoctoral issues.
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