So you have decided to find a mentor, or maybe you already have a mentor, but not sure what your role is in this new team. Here are some things I have learned personally from being a mentee and serving as a mentor.

  1. Ask questions, ask lots of questions, and ask more questions. This is something I was scared to do for years as a mentee, fearing I was going to be seen as stupid or a pest, and not someone to be taken seriously.

  2. Try to meet face-to-face (taking COVID precautions of course). You will learn a lot more from face-to-face interaction. Right now and depending on the reason for mentoring, a video call or telephone call works great.

  3. Be yourself. It's better to be true to yourself so that you can get what you need from the mentor. I lost out on some things because I just didn't know how to act. When I was in graduate school, I learned to be true to myself and think on my own and not follow my mentor exactly. This allowed me to explore lots of topics in graduate school and branch out to a new career.

  4. If your mentor is not helping or you do not have a good rapport, find another one. It could be a person you know and work with already.

In closing, I'm including a quote from a researcher, Brian Uzzi, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, who was one of three researchers regarding whether a Mentor/Protege relationship is beneficial. Kellogg Insight, July 7, 2020. For the full article, click here.

“It’s incumbent upon the mentee to branch out, take their mentor’s tacit knowledge, and do something that breaks new ground.” — Brian Uzzi

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Recently we had a request for a high school student to shadow us at work. I agreed to allow the person to shadow me in June, not realizing the pandemic would be taking more of a foothold in my area. Because of the changing environment, I had to come up with an idea of how to allow shadowing online so I did not risk the health of the shadower, my co-workers, and myself.

Before coming up with a plan, I had to think about what Shadowers want to know. What skills do they need, what is the work environment like, what type of projects can they expect? Do you enjoy your career? After thinking about what is most important (and asking my shadower what she wanted to learn), I came up with a list of what to share.

Here is what I did:

1. I used my cell phone, and recommend a cell phone or tablet so you can move around. Then your desktop is available for other items.

2. We joined each other on WhatsApp. There are a lot of apps that can be used, like WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Google Duo, Apple FaceTime, Skype, Line, Viber, KakaoTalk (I have used this to chat with people in other countries) and WeChat.

3. Once connected, I showed her around the office so she could get a good idea of the setup. I also showed her our artwork. I know that sounds strange, but most people are curious. The office I work in has walls filled with movie posters, so it is more interesting than most offices. Or maybe the artwork reflects your type of work or the atmosphere you created to help you work.

4. I showed her the tools of my trade. Resources, techn

ical equipment, files (while keeping confidential information confidential), etc.

5. Once my student got an idea of our office setup, our equipment, and the tools we use, I was able to sit down and show her items like my schedule.

It is important for shadowers to know what your daily work routine is like. I have a very long (25 pages) to-do list that reflects my projects over the next few months. I then spent time explaining how I work each day through my to-do list.

6. We then discussed the online tools I use, the software our office uses, and how we use these important software tools. I was able to show her my computer screen since I was on a mobile device.

7. We then discussed some job specifics, what are my everyday movements, i.e. I speak to clients, discuss matters with my boss, work on my many projects, maintain appointments and other deadlines, review new projects coming, etc.

8. We discussed education. What type of education do I have? How did I build my career? I think this is a great way to end. What is the Shadower going to need to have a similar career?

9. Last, I asked my shadower what she was leaning towards for her college experience and a possible career. What did she want? Throughout the experience, the shadower was able to ask questions as well.

Allowing someone to shadow you online

can open up a new world for both parties. I realized an online shadow experience is a great opportunity for someone who is shy or too remote to shadow in your location. I'm glad I was able to participate in this way and hope to do many more in the future.

Just remember, if you decide to do an online shadow, be sure to ask your co-workers, boss, or managers, and be sure to keep client information confidential.

Happy Shadowing!

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One of Wendi's favorite books is The Secret. Many many years ago she introduced me to this book and said I should read it. This was probably a not-so-subtle hint. I purchased the book in hardback, read it, and then shelved it. I didn't really concentrate on it or absorb the content, and I didn't think another thought about it until recently.

As I grew mentally and emotionally (it took me a while) I learned to meditate. Yoga and meditation combined are rejuvenating and I love it. And while I was involved in a group meditation, someone mentioned that I should read The Secret. I took this as a sign, so instead of digging out the hardback I still have, I purchased an audible electronic version. Re-reading this book has been a journey for me. I want to savor it and hang on every word, I take notes and complete tasks suggested in the book. It is a life-altering moment. Now that I am much more mature mentally and emotionally, I am ready to read this book Wendi suggested and understand what she wanted to share with me.

There are several books I recommend to people, sometimes I purchase the books and give them as gifts, but I can always tell whether the person is ready for the book by the look on their face when they open the package. When they are ready, they will read the book and learn what I wanted to share.

I'm sharing this with you now, and I hope you read it. This is a great website to look at even if you do not want to purchase the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as Wen

di did.

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