DEAR DR. JOB: THERE’S A MANAGER AT MY OFFICE who takes me aside after most of our team meetings and downloads his view of how it all went—even though I don’t report to her. It’s almost like she wants to be my mentor, but honestly, I don’t want to work in biz dev (business development). I’m more suited for creative. How long should I pretend to take all this “insider” advice to heart?
A) TAKE IT IN AS LONG AS SHE’S willing to share. You may not realize it yet, but whether or not someone is angling to be your mentor, you have gained a choice seat at “The Power Table.” Keep sitting there, and act (or better yet, be) interested, as long as you’re invited. And ask yourself: How painful is it, really, to learn about one of the more important divisions of your company, no matter than you’re not a “biz dev” person? Knowledge isn’t just power; it’s ammunition for advancement.
THEN TOO, if you're really looking to be inspired by the idea of mentorship - above and beyond who (or what) might be available in your office - you might download or stream a heartfelt, powerful film, Keep On Keepin' On, about one of the most extraordinary mentors in the creative arts over the past 50 years in the U.S., musical legend, Clark Terry. The film came out in 2015 and won multiple awards at film festivals nationwide, while being screened internationally.
It's far more than a career-enhancement or mentor lessons film. It's a rousing chorus of a movie that lifts hearts and minds as it unspools. Good luck and enjoy!