Diversify Your MentorS
A mentor is someone who offers guidance and professional advice for your career path. At Baruch we are constantly told that one of the keys to success is to have a mentor. The more I attend events and do informational interviews with people who have successful careers, I hear about the importance of having multiple mentors and diversifying (just like you diversify your stock portfolio, you must also get diverse mentors).
The other day, I conducted an informational interview with Don Gloeckler, EVP & Chief Research Officer at the ARF who advised me: “Once you are hired at a company, seek out diverse mentorS (emphasis on the plural) at the company who are not in your direct line of supervision, mentorS that you think will have the most relevant perspective for your personal needs.” In Gloeckler’s opinion diversity includes but is not limited to age, gender, race, experience, marital/family status, educational background, and work history. He said they will have different perspectives and the diversity of opinions will increase helpfulness.
At the Zicklin Women in Business 3rd Annual International Women’s Day luncheon, panelist Denise L Pease Regional Administrator, Northeast and Caribbean Region for the United States General Services Administration discussed the importance of mentors. She stated that she still seeks out mentors and now seeks out mentors who are younger than her to show her how the world is changing.
In my own personal experience through the EOC program at Baruch, I worked with two mentors. Janet Mangano, a middle aged woman with a 30 year career in investment research and management, and Marvin Tolkin, author of When I’m 64 Planning for the Best of Your Life, an 85 year old man with a history of owning his own business. I receive great and different advice from both Janet & Marvin.
Janet was able to advise me on everything from work life balance to improving my resume, making the most of my education, avoiding burnout, cover letter writing, and boosting self-confidence. While Marvin’s approach was to share his life long stories of both successes and failures as an Entrepreneur. Their diversity provided a true complementary mentorship to me.
- Seek out mentors
- Diversify the mentors you seek out
- Don’t ever stop seeking out mentors