Tracy’s Blog

Take your work seriously…but never yourself.

WANTED: Career Mentor; Apply Within.

MentorI’ve never had a mentor, well, I guess that’s not entirely true. I’ve never had a software developer career mentor. When I made the decision to be a veterinary scientist (maaaany years ago), it was ‘cuz I was the girl who rushed the dove with the broken back who had flown into a nearby window, or the baby quail who was the runt of the flock and had been left behind wandering back and forth along a tall city curb, to the nearest wildlife facility.

I had always felt a strong sense of empathy and a deep connection with animals (well, mammels and birds at least), so a life of healing and helping animals just seemed a natural course. But as you likely know, life often has other plans in store for us.

Two months into my college career (and a case of mono later), I was no longer a college student and spent the next 3 years of my life as a full-time retail associate and manager. That brief exposure was plenty to make me realize a college education was well worth my time, money, and effort for the monetary and occupational rewards. Once again, lacking direction from a career mentor I developed a simple formula for determining which bachelor’s degree to pursue upon my return to college:

< Industry Demand + < Monetary Potential + > Education Time = Computer Science

Note the lack of

< Career Enjoyment/Fulfillment

and

> Education Difficulty

within my formula. I’m grateful for my lack of consideration regarding the latter since I’ve realized that in spite of being a prisoner of the computer lab for nearly 4 years of my life, it’s a worthwhile pursuit for obtaining a strong foothold within such a lucrative industry.

With regard to the first missing formula component, I often wonder if my anti high-school career counselor approach to vocational searching will eventually and ultimately lead to my burnout, but again, without a mentor to weigh my decisions against, I went the “I’ll enjoy anything that challenges me” route rather than the, “I must pursue a career I’m already naturally interested and gifted in” route.

So here I sit; at another junction in my career where I could really use a little influence from someone who’s had to make a similar decision, has pursued a similar career path, and has been exposed to the industry long enough to have insights and premonitions that I cannot.

No, wait…scratch that; I think I just found the perfect mentor: Google.

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December 12, 2007 - Posted by | MISC

1 Comment »

  1. […] A career mentor (sorry Google) […]

    Pingback by Migrate to ‘08 « Tracy’s Blog | February 3, 2008 | Reply


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