Last week, when I was deep in the TRB 2010 Annual Meeting, one of my transportation library colleagues ask me if I had a mentor who “couldn’t directly benefit from [my] actions” and didn’t “have any direct control” over my career. When he put it like that, my answer had to be no. I have people I look up to, but nothing formal like “There’s that person, they’re my mentor.” I also thought it was interesting how my colleague qualified it with control and other motives. I never really considered it before, but a mentor really should have your interests at heart and do it for the information exchange and a warm fuzzy feeling, not to exploit the mentee.
I’m at that point in my career where I would like a mentor. Not one tied to the campus or my place of work, but one that can help me articulate my big picture plans and ideas. Any suggestions? I’m taking applications. I’ll probably ask about this at SLA Leadership next week.