IT Mentorship is the Key to Success
For the most part, the IT Career path is something you have to craft yourself. That also means choosing the right people you’re around. When I first got into IT, my network had limited to no IT people. But over time it began to grow.
IT mentorship is a function of crafting an IT career path. By allowing other people who have established an IT career into a custom IT Career path, success is bound to happen. Formal mentorships can be catered by a company or through a paid program, otherwise an informal mentorship will bring the same amount of success.
I’ve attributed my IT Career success to many mentors. In person and online. A good way to start is to build a community of peers, and from there recognize natural qualities of a mentor among them. From there, they can help push you forward in the IT Career path.
Benefits to Both David and Goliath
If someone is mentored, the chances of success are greater. From an individual’s perspective, ie David, there is a lot of value being around someone who has been in the IT world.
For instance, your mentor could have specific knowledge about the technology that you can’t “Google” online. But more than that, they help you navigate through the rough patches in people skills.
Technical mentorship is a quicker skill to teach. But over time the nuances of technology and company culture can be difficult to navigate. Through IT mentorship, individuals can gain the perspective they need to move forward.
For the corporation, ie Goliath, having a set structure for mentorship will allow productivity. Rather than spending time gathering knowledge on what to do next, someone can help point those who are new into technology in the right direction.
I could also argue that these relationships can form cohesion with a company culture. One of the biggest issues technology departments can face is turnover. By having a great company culture, it won’t be as easy for people to job hob.
Making a Good IT Mentorship Relationship
The best IT Mentorships are when the mentee and the mentor are able to connect on another level beyond the technology.
So if you’re looking for a mentor, see them as a person who has interests and hobbies. If the IT Mentorship is transactional, then there’s not a lot of room to be open to advice and there will be less time spent together.
If you can’t find a mentor in person, then I would consider developing a group of peers who can keep you accountable online. For instance, by joining InfoSecInstitute or Reddit, you can be a part of a community who are posting their goals and their journey to get there.
Mentorship can happen with peers. That’s not to be neglected. But it has to first come from you utilizing this.
Finding IT Mentorship
This is probably a difficult question. Where do I find an IT mentor?
If the company is large enough, you might want to ask your manager if there is a formal mentorship program. Chances are there is and the structure of this program is already setup.
Otherwise, strike up conversations with people in places you want to be. Connect first. The mentorship may not be as structured, but the informality will open up doors.
For those who are just starting out and may not even be in an IT career, my advice is to join meetups and online communities. There are so many helpful people you can find in a local meetup and online. Just be sure to follow the correct etiquette of the community and contribute.
IT Mentorship via Books
This is my favorite. The easiest way to access someone else’s mind is by reading their work. This includes books.
I’m not talking about just technical books related to the technology you want to work with. But social aspects of it.
How do you navigate within an IT department?
How can you be a good coworker?
These are all questions that can be answered with books based on social skills and self development. This is often neglected in this field. As the tech scene is notorious for not always having the best people skills.
If you have people skills in the world of technology, trust me you will stand out.