Sunday, April 19, 2020

Mentoring in a Quarantined World

Quarantine | A word cloud featuring "Quarantine". This image… | Flickr
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It has been quite a while since I last posted simply because I felt I had said everything I wanted to say on the topic of mentoring. My passion for mentoring has not dwindled at all. In fact, it has only increased. Instead of blogging, I've spent the past 18 months co-launching a peer mentoring program for technology leaders, created content around building mentoring programs and continued to mentor and be mentored myself. 

What moves me to post today is a strong desire to inspire folks impacted by the coronavirus pandemic (which basically means, everyone) to take advantage of a golden opportunity: most, if not all, of your potential mentors and mentees are spending significant time sheltering in place. And many of these same folks are looking to make connections, maintain communication and find some way to contribute to the world. This is an excellent time to reach out in an appropriate, social distancing fashion and ask someone you've admired if they'd be interested in being your mentor.

If you are a mentor, or have ever considered becoming one, offering to share your experiences and guide individuals who may be in a career crisis right now is a priceless way of giving back to the community and helping out during this unprecedented situation. 

Technology has brought the world closer together. My own mentoring sessions are all done now via video conference. The transition has been seamless. Sure, it may be a bit challenging to start a new mentoring relationship over video conference but it's not impossible. It may take just a little longer to solidify the connection than if you could start out in person with each other. This shouldn't prevent anyone from giving it a try. And if video conferencing isn't your thing, I've conducted countless successful sessions by phone.

This is an exceptionally good and unique time to get into mentoring. I hope you seriously consider it. Most importantly, stay healthy and safe! 

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston Churchill