The first time somebody called me their mentor I froze. What? Me? Why? Surely there must be somebody else who knows more about what they’re doing. The questions were different the first time I was assigned somebody to mentor: Do we have any goals in common? Why should they care what I have to say? Mentoring was not easy at first, and there was need for self-discovery for both me and my mentee. But at its best, mentoring should present opportunities for you to grow and learn from your mentee just as much as they grow and learn from you.
I pull together and share some of the ideas and stories I’ve learned from being a mentor. As you’ll see, mentoring is very much a two way street. We’ll talk about the differences between when somebody chooses you to mentor them and when they are matched up with you as part of a bigger process. I’ll also talk about the fears I had to overcome as the mentor. You’ll walk away with some assurance that your mentoring doesn’t need to perfect out of the gate. Mentoring is about life-long learning. You’ll leave with implementable ideas that will make you a better and more confident mentor.
Alex Juarez is a principal engineer at Rackspace, touting nine years with the company. Alex enjoys all things Linux, especially training and mentoring others in its use, and is incredibly qualified to do so as an RHCA/RHCI. When Alex isn’t helping others, he’s crafting killer cocktails and finding the best spots to grub in San Antonio.
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