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HELP, I want a Mentor

By shyne530 ·
I am new to IT and the organization I work for is a great company with excellent benefits, however I have no guidance and no support. It seems as if everyman for themselves when in truth I thought we were supposed to be team players. My question to the TechRepublic Community is how do you get ahead in IT when no one is willing to teach you? Also if anyone is willing to mentor me I would greatly appreiate it. I really do want to excell in this field but when your supervisor is not providing you with a career advancement stratagey what do you do?

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A lot depends on your situation

by DMambo In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

If you're in a large organization, then as you work with people, you'll figure out those you can trust and which ones will be able to act as your mentor.

If you're in a small co., then it might be your boss who's the only possibility. If you're new and (s)he's been around soaking up a fat paycheck for a while, you might be viewed as a threat. A young gun with up-to-date skills just waiting to knock off the old-timer.

If that's the case, I'd advise you to be the best employee you can and you should be able to build up trust. In either case, it might take several months to get the relationship going.

Away from work, look into local geek forums. There usually are formal or informal IT organizations that have some structure. It's a great way to network. Good luck, grasshopper.

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Call me!

by stuck_in In reply to A lot depends on your sit ...

I have mentored a number of people and can supply references. People tend to forget that we are all in this together and sometimes get caught up in their own little houses without looking out the door.

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You should check into professional organisations

by Tig2 In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

That is an easy way to find guidance.

You don't mention where you are or what you do so it is difficult to really give you specific direction.

I have found my best mentors in the organisations I work in- people who know their job and have an understanding of mine. They are generally people that I would choose to socialise with outside of the workplace.

In a pinch, you might want to consider asking your manager if a mentor programme exists in you workplace. Many companies have them but few use them.

Bring questions here. There are always those who are happy to give you an answer to the best of our individual knowledge.

Good luck!

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try IEEE's new mentor pgm

by edward perez In reply to You should check into pro ...

if you are a member of the IEEE, they have recently started a mentoring program. from their recent email on this pgm:

Subject: IEEE Mentoring Connection Invitation - Call for Mentors

The IEEE has developed an online program to foster mentoring relationships
between younger IEEE members and those with more experience. We would like to
offer you the opportunity to participate as a mentor in this program.

As a mentor, you will be able to draw from your professional life experiences
to help guide a younger professional in their career planning and professional
development. The online program enables the mentee to select their mentoring
partner from among those who have volunteered to serve as mentors. After you
have been identified as potential match, you will be contacted and asked to
begin establishing a relationship.

IEEE has partnered with The Training Connection, a vendor that has developed a
web-based mentoring program to facilitate the matching process. Participation
in the program is voluntary and open to all IEEE members above the grade of
Student Member.
If you are interested in being a mentor, please go to for information on the roles and responsibilities
of each mentoring partner including additional program information and an FAQ
page. We also ask that you review the time and effort commitment to the
program necessary to ensure a successful mentoring partnership. Access to the
actual mentoring site is available via the IEEE Membership Benefits page at

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Getting ahead

by jdmercha In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

Professional growth:
A lot depends on who you work for, where you live, the shape of the economy and what you want. Do you have an idea of where you want to go? Write down some short term and long term goals. Then figure out what you need to do to acheive those goals.

Personal growth:
READ! I can't stess that enough. Especially for newbies. Get your hands on every trade rag you can find and read them. Most of them are free.

You'll find quite a few off them right here on this forum. Just start asking questions.

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good to be open

by prasad_p In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

It is very normal for any fresher in IT industry. People take time to manage with new environments. It is very good to start conversation with your colleagues(team members). Let me know in what platform u r working with i'll try to help u in gathering info. related to that field.

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by vanessaj In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

Also remember, if you are new, that this position is probably a very good first step to many other steps in your career - not your entire career. As you dig in and focus on all your new tasks, even if you had a mentor, you still need to be your own mentor in a way.

- Don't let yourself get overwhelmed, but as you focus on the details of your job, and show them how well it can be done - remember at the same time that this may not be the only position you will ever fill so remember to work on you - not just the job.

- Take a few moments at the end of each workday to step-back and reflect on issues both technical and political that you've had to face (or anticipate) and decide how to best handle them tomorrow.

- Take care of yourself professionally and keep up on all the latest technology - not just what's needed for your current position. As jdmercha said before...READ READ READ. Use as many resources as you can find. Just drink them all in!

- In lier of a personal mentor, mine as many tech sites as you can. TR is a great start. This is one of the best of many org's where you can converse with other professionals in your field...and in other, similar fields that may also effect your work at times...and give-and-take information (and have fun). These folks have a great practical & realistic view of the professional/technical world. Don't worry if at first there's more take than give, that will change as you acclimate.

- Remember to document, document, document - no matter exactly what position you are filling. Take the time to cover your butt - write everything down. Even if it's just a notebook with a list of what you did and who you did it for that day. Take the time to keep good notes - they may save you in the future. Trust me on this one.

- Also remember that mistakes aren't the end of the world no matter how upset someone will get at you for one. They will happen. Take them in stride and learn from them. It's okay. If you are new to tech, then I'm sure that you will be learning for years to come. You don't get this stuff overnight. It's not as easy as say, law, or the medical profession. And changes a lot more frequently!

- And be courteous to everyone - even the doodie-heads. Stay calm and professional and don't let anyone at work see you sweat. Your calm is your power - keep it in check and stay professional...even if no one else does. If you need to vent - find family, friends, chat rooms, discussion boards, etc. People outside of work are great for understanding. Like the saying goes "Don't poop where you eat" (that's the nice version) .

- Oh, and finally, remember to put spaces before and after your emoticons when posting.

That's all I have right now. Good advice that was given to me once - that I have, on occasion, totally forgotten and regretted it each and every time. What can I say, I'm human.

Good luck.

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Find somewhere to start

by tony In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

Look for something you can research and pick up on in your own time.

What you pick depends on what the organisation has to do, what your experience is etc.

For example, IT support in most organisations is usually the infrastructure, but less on applications. However, you may have some application expertise that could be useful.

It might help to start by creating a list of things that have to get done by the department; some will require more knowledge than others, and you may be able to start with the simple, tedious ones that veterans of the department dislike doing - they prefer the more complex and challenging problems.

Look for things you can learn easily that will help you have the basics of what you need. Understanding mail flow might be an example.

Then collect resources around it. If you have some spare old hardware at home, get hold of free evaluation software and practice with it - there are also online labs where you can experiment with configuring systems for free.

Find out which users have trivial problems that then irritate your coworkers, and see if you can deal with some of these.

Once you have some expertise that complements, or may exceed what others in your department have, then you have something to "trade" i.e. you can help them in exchange for help in other areas.

Bear in mind that it is unlikely that any of your coworkers have had their workload reduced so that they can help you, and so they have to see that any investment they make in you is going to be repaid in the longer term.

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Same As The Rest Of Us

by dotxen In reply to HELP, I want a Mentor

Research, enquire, hassle and practice at home.

Maybe you're such a dweeb that no-one wants to share anything with you. Ever thought of that?

Shape up, stop whinging and start learning. Or try plumbing, apparently there is a dirth of plumbers right now.

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Think about what you just said...

by lscott In reply to Same As The Rest Of Us

The average plumber is going to make anywhere from $45K-$90K a year. IF you own the plumbing business, chances are in a busy area you are going to CLEAR $120K-$240K a year.

Before you begin to make stupid statements and start talking S**T you better apply your own advise to yourself. Learn, stop giving useless advise. And "Sir".. I recommend you brush your teeth before speaking, your breath is really foul...

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