DIY Mentorships

Last month I blogged that I’m accepting applications for a mentor. (Applications are still open, by the way…) Well, this week one of my mentors/role models/heroes, Sarah Glassmeyer, blogged about Libpunk Mentorship. It’s great advice to any wayward librarian (or professional whatever) looking for direction. Her five main points are:

  1. Own Your Shit
  2. It’s OK to Say “No”
  3. It’s OK to Cry
  4. Fake it Until You Make It
  5. Fuck ‘em if They Can’t Take a Joke

Why don’t they teach us this stuff in library school? Now, I really try to live by 1, 4, and 5. I don’t feel like I’m at a point in my career where I can really do 2, and well, I am too much of a poser to admit to 3. I’ve got a ways to go still…

Sarah touches on something that another metor/hero of mine, Mary Carmen Chimato, has stressed to me. We’re not alone. Sarah says it’s important to pass on compliments, talk your peers up. There’s room for praise and constructive criticism. This is something I really need to remember. Too often I get what I call “Little Red Hen Syndrome” – where I try to do it all myself and then get annoyed when people around me don’t work on my timetable/level. It’s a terrible habit and doesn’t really help anybody. It’s not that I’m too good for my peers or working on more important stuff than my colleagues. I just don’t effectively communicate what needs I perceive and I do a crappy job of listening to what their needs/goals are. We can all work together and progress and change, I just need to have some more empathy and understanding. I need to be a team player. How rockstar is that?

Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s sad, but I really needed people like Sarah and Mary to tell me to look at my role in what I’m doing and trying to accomplish. I value their opinions and trust their judgement, and it’s good to have an outside perspective. I also wish there was more talk about how to work with those around you, rather than finger wagging.

One thought on “DIY Mentorships

  1. “little red hen syndrome” – hot damn there’s a name for it! we should start a support group. and then another support group for the folks that have to work with us.
    i kid!
    (kinda.)

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