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Need a mentor

By Namco ·
I've been in IT for about 2 years, and up until last month have always had someone within the workplace above me that I can talk to about the job, projects, difficulties etc.

For the first time I am now without this, and suddenly feel the responsibilities of my job (IT manager) are simply not understood by anyone above me in the organisation. This is making my job extremely stressful, as I feel the IT systems within my organisation are a huge burden on me personally. Servers and software have become the bane of my existence as the potential disruption that would be caused by any downtime is always on my mind.

I wonder if anyone else feels that IT management is a stressful, lonely, misunderstood existence withing an organisation?

Maybe i'm just not cut out for the role? Or maybe it's the same for all departmental managers - does the FD know the difficulties of being a Sales manager? I doubt it.

This brings me to the idea of mentoring. I've actually been a mentor before, and am currently training a technician and find it extremely rewarding, but I still need a mentor myself, or at least someone I can openly and honestly discuss my role with within the organisation.

Anyone else felt this need? how did you cope?


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King to goat in ten seconds flat

by jdclyde In reply to Need a mentor

that is what being a manager is all about.

When things go smoothly, your sitting on top of the world. The first major bump and everything changes.

This is why many managers take on a "if it's not broke, don't touch it" attitude. They are coasting and playing CYA.

Mentoring, that part I can't speak of. Never had one, never been one.

Milk helps with that ulcer!

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It is normal

by zlitocook In reply to Need a mentor

To feel overwhelmed and under appreciated in our field. I have been both a mentor and been trained. But if you feel that way all the time you may be at the point of "I have become more then I want to be" position. Alot of people reach this point and ether quit and do some thing completely different, stay at the job and become bitter or take a lesser job and feel alot better.
I am not telling you what to do; you know your life and limitations.
I was the IT director at a small hospital, a lead manager at a big company. I did not like the entire hassle and taking the blame for every thing.
So I backed down a step and now the job I have pays better, has alot less hassles and I love working there.
You have to ask your self, do I like what I am doing, and can I see myself doing this for years and most important do you have at least some fun?
If not well you can decide what you want to do.

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Yes, IT is not often understood.

by jdmercha In reply to Need a mentor

I have never had a mentor, but I have had several advisors and supporters. I am the youngest of 7 and have some very successfull siblings. I've been advised and coached by them all my life.

I have never been a mentor, but I have been a teacher and a coach. I have never stopped furthering my education.

I guess I've never felt the need for a mentor since my immediate family includes MBA's, Lawyers, VPs, IT managers and even an Intel Engineer.

Feel free to contact me throuh TR if you want to.

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Mentor would be most helpful!

by winkyrules In reply to Need a mentor

I work in a small company as a network administrator. I began when the company had a peer to peer network. Now we have servers and I am responsible for anything IT. I love it, execpt that when I have a problem, I have no one to go to for advise or to ask, "how do you do this?" It would be great to have a mentor to ask questions that I don't know the answer to, but for now, I am stuck researching any problem that I can't quite figure out.

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Feel the pain

by anna_adika In reply to Mentor would be most help ...

I am in the same exact shoes.
Things are always exciting when all is well but can be a pill whne things go wrong.
Yes it can get lonely at the top sometimes I suppose.
It is all a matter of choice and passion.
If you are passionate about your job and it adds to your lifes passion then that is what matters.

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Coach, IT manager elsewhere, and Peers

by Plan B In reply to Need a mentor

When I found myself in this situation, I did a few things.
1. Got a coach. I was able to share the frustrations, challenges, and also the good stuff with a non-involved party. One that didn't really know IT and didn't NEED to know IT. One that would hold our conversations confidential.

2. Began an informal mentorship with a senior IT person at another non-competing company. I would approach them for advice and to talk over ideas. They understood the IT challenges, just not the corporate ones.

3. Found peers and associates in the rest of the company that were going through the same sort of things - just not in IT. They had the same overall corporate perspective, just not the IT challenges.

By talking to all three and blending the ideas and advice, I sort of created what for me was an "uber-mentor".

I don't know if this would help you, but it worked for me.

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sounds good

by Namco In reply to Coach, IT manager elsewhe ...

Thanks, this does sounds like a good approach.

1. I do bounce alot of ideas off of other managers within the company, but they are not officially coaches. Was your coach official? Would you recommend asking someone to perform this role for me?

2. I'm actually trying to find a local event to try and meet with peers. I do have my old boss that I can ring if I need to (and have) but it's a little awkward.

I think I do actually have access to the kind of people you mention (apart from coach), I just havn't realised. I've spoken to them, but about different subjects at different times. I'll make a concious effert to discuss current projects with them to get their perspective.

Thanks again

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IT Manager - a new world

by Gooder In reply to sounds good

Now you've made the step, you've discovered that things are different, as I did. You should no longer be the techie, but let someone else deal with the day-to-day server housekeeping, etc. (although it of course depends how many people are in your IT dept, and what "IT Manager" means in your company).

You have overall responsibility now, rather than just one slice of the pie, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the work too! Delegation can be a wonderful tool if used properly, and it's not just "management speak" or skiving, but a proper prioritisation of your time.

Give yourself time to adjust.

The advice to talk to other, non-IT, managers in your company is very wise - I spoke to a couple of others about things and discovered we had similar problems. The three of us have since setup a group/forum of all the heads of department (12 people) and regularly discuss and brainstorm various shared issues. It initially scared the bejeez out of our directors, but it produces results, and we feel we are more in control and can support each other, and in general it breaks the ice. Being one of the founders for something like this increases your street cred with your peers as well.

It's also helped me "educate" others about what it is that we do (not just fix PCs), and how we can help the company in the future (think and talk strategy). The problem that nobody above you understands the responsibilities of the job is reduced - because you've explained them to your peers, both sides realise you have things in common, and they in turn help to educate their bosses and yours.

Management are now your equals - talk to them. Mentor each other!

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Change JOB - really helps

by Wire In reply to Need a mentor


I have the same fillings when I work for SOMEONE (company). Quit Your Job and start online business - You can earn FAR more than now and wake up at 9.00 (or 10.00 if You like) !!!!

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Why don't you think TR can be your mentor?

by mpplynch In reply to Need a mentor

I am a physicist that now does programming, there are several less senior people I mentor.

When you reach a point where you have no-one around you to mentor you it's just because in any particular area there's only a limited amount of knowledge required to perform all the tasks required.

At least I have found this to be the case, when I have a problem that I need help with, it is only because I have not encountered the problem before.....this is when I use sites like TR. Any quick search and someone is bound to have had the same problem before...and with some help has found the solution.

Always remember, No-one knows it all, someone has probably solved the problem already or with our help we'll find a solution. If we all share our experiences then the work is a lot easier.

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