I was at LOPSA East 2014 last weekend.
Were you? No? oh. …sorry you missed it!
On Friday evening, John Boris led a “birds of a feather” (BOF) session (aka “birds of a feather flock together”) on LOPSA’s mentorship program. It’s a new-ish program within LOPSA where they try to pair people based on mutual interests and skill sets. In LOPSA’s own words:
Life-long learning is the key to success, and we all have knowledge and experience to share with others who hope to tread the path we’ve already traveled. The LOPSA Mentorship Coordinators match experienced LOPSA members that wish to be mentors with proteges that wish to learn from them.
We encourage two types of mentorship engagements, the first being a fixed-length project such as building a service like a help desk, monitoring system, storage solution, etc. The second type of engagement, freestyle, is more open ended and can include asking for advice on topics like budgeting, work relationships, career development, presentations, and so on.
I’ve thought about mentoring, but have always felt under-qualified; Really, who am I to be telling people how to do things? But the discussion in the Mentorship BOF opened my eyes to the idea that I could be helpful by simply listening and giving feedback. As a mentor, one isn’t expected to know everything, nor even to strictly guide the protege’s learning.
Hmmm… Listening? THAT would be an excellent thing for me to work on!
I have signed up as a mentor, and LOPSA promptly offered me a selection of a few proteges who are currently seeking mentors.
Hopefully, I’ll have more (and more interesting) things to write about this in the future.
Have you considered mentoring? Why not? :^)