I have generally thought of having a mentor as being part of the Chartership process – someone to help me through the trials and tribulations of Chartership, who can offer suggestions and advice on my portfolio, and can pass on their experience of the process themselves. I have also heard of other mentoring schemes in the workplace, and I sometimes think how useful this could be, especially for someone who is new to a company or has been promoted to a new job with added responsibilities.
However, this Thing has got me thinking about having a mentor myself outside of these circumstances, and I’m not sure that I could see how it would work for me. I don’t have any particular goals that I’m aiming for at the moment (other than keeping my job as my institution restructures), and while I quite like the idea of having someone who takes an interest in my career, I am not sure what I could bring to the relationship in return. The experience described by Meg Westbury sounds very fruitful, but I’m just not sure that it would work in my situation. I think that I am gradually getting enough contacts in the cataloguing community to ask questions and get advice when I need it, and I think for me, that is enough for now.