Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January is National Mentoring Month

During the first part of January nearly the entire world is busy trying to keep their New Year's resolutions while others are still trying to figure out what resolutions to make. The point is everyone is wrapped up in making this year better than the last.

You know the drill - many of us vow to lose weight this year or save more money in 2010 but how many of us have really stuck to these resolutions? One attainable resolution many of us should consider is becoming a role model/mentor for someone in 2010 whether it is in your professional or personal life. In fact, January is officially known as National Mentoring Month! Being that person others can count on for guidance or lean on for advice is something that brings dual rewards for both involved. Even better, anyone can serve as a mentor or mentee during any stage of life.

In the PR realm, finding a mentor is the key to success in our fast-paced industry. The path of public relations is diverse, constantly changing and evolving most recently with the advent of social media. There are many career options to pursue making it essential to have someone there to help you navigate the field while introducing you to contacts and telling you which books and blogs to read.

So when that intern strolls by your desk asking what to work on today, be sure to take a little more time showing him/her the ropes. Remember, they are there to absorb everything they can and to seek your professional guidance - chances are you were in that same position at one point in your career. Who knows, your intern just might have a thing or two to teach you about social media. This role of reverse mentoring is commonplace now so even the most seasoned PR veterans are learning new tips about social networking.

Don't think you're off the hook if your company doesn't have interns or you're not in a position to manage the intern duties - you can still serve as a mentor for a new colleague (young or old) in your organization. And if you're still making excuses and don't think you have time to establish a mentoring relationship, then how about being a mentor for the day? Dallas PRSA hosts Pro Am day each spring, which allows college students from all over Dallas and beyond to shadow a PR professional for the day. It's a great way to give students a taste of a day-in-the-life of PR. Be sure to check Dallas PRSA - details are coming soon.

So as you're thinking about all the New Year's resolutions you've already broken, this is one resolution you can keep.