NextGen12: You need a Mentor

Here is the summary: One of the most effective ways to vault your career is by having a mentor. But sometimes you don’t know where to start. In this session, you’ll learn about GovLoop’s first-of-its-kind, government-wide mentors program and how you can get involved. We’ll have mentoring experts as well as a mentors and mentees from our Spring Program on hand to answer your questions in real-time. You can even sign up for our Fall 2012 Program on the spot.

Andrew Krzmarzick, Community Engagement Director, GovLoop, starts off by introducing everyone.

Jennifer Sellers, Vice President, The Training Connection goes first, and defines mentoring as “helping people growing and develop” and reminds the room that everyone has had a mentor at some point. Defines further a supervisory mentors, situational mentors (right place/right time), informal mentoring, and group mentoring. She then talked about why you should have a mentor, and argues that balancing relationships, navigation of organizations, and expertise remains the key to success.

Then the presenters broke out and discussed major mentoring moments in their lives.

Jennifer Bledsoe, Business Management Specialist at General Services Administration, Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt joined in via skype and discussed how difficult and rewarding being a mentor can be, and about major pitfalls that can occur in the search for a mentor.

Brian Deming, Senior Compensation Specialist, Federal Reserve Board spoke about the importance of realizing how necsarry it is to realize your need for a mentor, and the importance of “not taking a one star problem to a three star decision maker.”

Honorable William D. Spencer, Clerk of the Board, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board talked about ‘interviewing’ potential mentors, and matching your strengths and weaknesses to their own.

Jennifer Sellers talked about the importance of a “board of directors” for your career, and how you shouldn’t worry about shopping decisions around to a few different people who have a knowledge of you and the world you wish to join; also to not necesarrily seek out the people at the top, who may not be of as much use as you might expect.

To close out, Andrew reminded everyone that GovLoop has a Mentorship Program that is currently accepting applications. All are strongly encouraged to apply, no matter where they are in their careers.

All in all, a great presentation and a fair amount of good points made.

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