A few weeks ago I attended the annual PASS Summit conference in beautiful Seattle, Washington. This is an event that I look forward to every year. Being able to share my knowledge as a speaker, reconnect with friends and family of the sql persuasion, meet new people, and learn new things really helps to rejuvenate me.
During the conference I had several conversations with attendees about their own career path and what they could do to improve it. Some were looking to start speaking, some were looking for new career opportunities, and some where just looking to improve their current situation.
As I looked around the community zone and throughout the rest of the venue, conversations like these were happening frequently. Technical conversations, people catching up with lost connections, folks learning how the others family is doing and this made me realize that anybody can be a mentor.
So, the question is, if you aren’t a mentor, why not? If not, then I call you to action.
The Call to Action
I’ve been fortunate enough to mentor several people over the course of my career. Not only have I mentored folks in their technical journey, but as well as their personal life. I’ve been there when they needed someone to listen, someone to just give friendly advice, or to be that person they can lean on. Disclaimer, I’m not an expert, not a therapist, nor a career counselor. I have, however, been through a lot in my 20+ year career. I’ve had ups and downs in my personal life that I’ve had to battle through.
Anybody can be a mentor for someone else. You don’t have to have a certain title, or degree, or be considered an “expert” in anything to be a mentor. You can mentor your colleagues, your family members, friends, children, or even your next-door neighbor. We all have histories and life experiences. We should share them with those that really need to hear them.
Furthermore, if you are a seasoned member of PASS and a frequent speaker or attendee of #PassSummit, I strongly call you to be a mentor for someone else. The #sqlfamily is a force I’ve never seen. As speakers and long-time member, we all should be giving back just as those who came before us did. I’ve been fortunate to have some excellent mentors along the way, some that might not even know they had an impact on me. Also, take a moment and let them know if someone has been a mentor to you in some way. They might not be aware of the impact they had on you so make it known. A simple thank you goes a long way.
Being a mentor isn’t about promoting yourself or for your own personal gain. It also does not have to be a formal plan or need a lot of time. It’s about listening, supporting, and offering guidance for another human being. If you have someone in your circles that needs a little extra support, I urge you to consider giving them an extra nudge here and there. If they need help you don’t think you can provide, help them find someone who can help. Sometimes that’s all that is needed.
Mentor someone. Stoke the fire they need in their lives. Help them to see their own potential. They can do it and so can you. Be that mentor.
Finally, if you are looking for a mentor and haven’t found one yet, hit me up. You can schedule a 30-minute meeting with me via Calendary. I’ll listen and if I can help I’ll be more than happy to do so. If I can’t, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.
“A rising tide lifts all boats” – John F Kennedy.
Be that tide.
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