You’ve seen the ads about those terrified by sales folk on commission - people diving behind couches and bringing lawyers all to avoid being pressured.
I’d like to state for the record that I receive no money if you take any advice from this blog. LOL
Seriously, the issue I’m hearing more and more is how the workplace is ‘urging’ and ‘directing’ folks to be mentored. Toolkits and networks are set up (or not). Meetings are called.
And once again the words mentoring and networking become
1 - used interchangeably
2 - without definition
3 - thrust upon the individual who enters a potential networking or mentoring opportunity because they feel they must or that it’s politically savvy to do so - vs. because they want to.
I do understand that for some to realize they want to add mentoring and networking to their lives, it takes a catalyst. Dragged to an event by a friend or co-worker. Told to upgrade their skill set or risk lack of advancement by a manager. However, they are won over by seeing others model positive and proactive networking and mentoring behaviours in the workplace. This modeling can create as much influence (and more positive) as being mandated.
Mentoring is not coaching for an immediate job issue. Mentoring doesn’t require lists of skills around which the workplace would like you to better yourself. Your workplace values are what your manager coaches you on. Your career and personal self within that career are where a mentor comes in.
You don’t have to mentor or be mentored. It isn’t network or die! Mentoring and networking are a choice. A sensible and wonderful choice in my opinion - but a choice. It’s not brussel sprouts; it’s a dessert buffet.
Yes, the workplace should get involved. The more who espouse building community in all its forms, the better. But it’s not mandatory and no salesperson should call.