Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Where are You Headed? Need a Mentor?

Wondering what's next for you?  In 2014,  I'm again offering the opportunity work with me as a mentor. My career path continues to evolve in unexpected ways. This past month I had the chance to speak at my own graduate program about it which served as a reminder that we all start somewhere and the path is often surprising. Everyone's path will be different, but hopefully I can be of some help along the way.

This past year's mentorship was an experiment.  A year ago, I put out a call for anyone seeking a mentor and had dozens of terrific sounding applicants.  I selected two,  and one of those, Alicia Akins, working in Laos, has gone through the full year with me,  meeting once a month via Skype and exchanging emails and tweets.  When I asked Alicia if she thought it was worth doing again, from her perspective, here's what she said,
I think you should absolutely do it again!  It was a really rewarding and encouraging experience for me and I'm sure it would be for anyone else. It was particularly meaningful for me as an emerging professional interested in international work quite isolated all the way over here in Laos.  The opportunities to guest post, be introduced to people, have an unbiased third party take my questions seriously, and to realize that in the midst of learning I could also be learned from have bolstered my confidence and helped me think more proactively about the future.  So yes, absolutely do it again!
And from my perspective, what did I gain?  Through the application process, I met a wide variety of new colleagues and had a chance to meet some of you in person.  I enhanced my sense of what the field is about right now for colleagues at different stages in their careers.  Alicia wrote a couple great blog posts (and another one coming up) and in our conversations, we covered topics ranging from diversity in the field, to project management, to working internationally. Each new person is an opportunity for me to expand my own world view--and Alicia definitely did that!

Here's the deal for 2014. 
 We'll schedule monthly Skype conversations at times convenient for us both, and you can apply no matter where you live or work or what stage of your career you're in.  From you, I'll expect three blog posts on deadlines we mutually set and of course, active participation and questioning.  In addition to the monthly conversations, I'll also provide feedback, introductions as I can, and loads and loads of opinions!

If you're interested, by December 21, send me an email (linda [at] lindabnorris.com) that includes your resume plus the following:
  • One thing you're particularly curious about
  • One thing you're passionate about
  • Questions you'd like to discuss with me during the year
  • A description of your first creative act 
  • A time your reach exceeded your grasp
  • When you work, do you love the process or the result?  Why?
A nod to Twyla Tharp's creative inventory for the last three questions. I'll make a decision no later than January 10, 2014.  Questions, ask away!

No comments: