The Oregon State Bar has been the latest to follow in the mandatory mentoring trend for newly minted lawyers started by the State Bar of Georgia and Utah State Bar. With graduation just around the corner, this can be a useful tool for new graduates as they face a challenging marketplace and could likely use some insight into the skills they need to become a successful professional. While there is some controversy as to how helpful these mentoring programs can be, the Harvard Business Review offers some things to keep in mind for a successful mentorship:
Build a cadre of people you can turn to for advice when you need it
Nurture relationships with people whose perspectives you respect
Think of mentoring as both a long-term and short-term arrangement
Assume that because you are successful or experienced in your field that you don’t need a mentor
Rely on one person to help guide you in your career
Expect to receive mentoring without providing anything in return
The major take away from the article is the nature of the mentorship has changed drastically. Jeanne Meister, a Founding Partner of Future Workplace and co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today says that in today’s world mentoring is “more like Twitter and less like having a psychotherapy session.” It no longer has to be this long term drawn out event. It is not uncommon to have more than one mentor as careers and circumstances change, one needs to be flexible with their sources.
It is a quick read and it should inspire those in all levels of their careers to reevaluate their situation and take an active role in their sources and/or imparting of guidance.