Thursday, May 31, 2007
Office Mentoring More Valuable Than Ever
The article at the link below was electronically "reprinted" from a Wharton Business School website, and offers a different perspective on how the world of rampant downsizing has affected the white collar zeitgeist. It - quite predictably - exalts the value of having a mentor and, also, of being a mentor. In passing, it laments the ruthless business changes of the last quarter century, which initially discouraged mentoring. After all, what good is it to nurture a protege if your employer will shortly let him or her go? Conversely, if you're a youngster on the make, why befriend an old hand who could be forced into early retirement at a moment's notice?
This article promotes mentoring precisely because downsizing has become so pervasive. It focuses on the networking value that derives from having - or being - a mentor. As a mentee, you will acquaint yourself with a person of influence - and, better yet, a person with connections - who may help you out when it's time to hunt for that new job. As a mentor, you will make friends with one or two of the young Turks who may remember you fondly enough to keep you employed when all else fails. I remember a case at Hewlett-Packard where a young IT division manager kept a man in his sixties who once mentored him employed as a contractor for years. Buddy up across generational lines. If it doesn't turn out that you have groomed a successor or an assistant, you might still have provided yourself with a lifeline to economic survival.
"Establishing relationship of mentor-mentee more important now than ever" from Delaware Online