Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Newcomers to the industry may find themselves facing a slew of challenges and trends they couldn’t have predicted during their time in school. Having an experienced tech veteran by their side to show them the ropes and help them adapt can make all the difference in their career success.
As experienced tech professionals, the members of Forbes Technology Council understand how beneficial mentorships can be in this ever-changing field. To help you facilitate connections between your young employees and industry mentors, our panel of experts offered a few tips for tech leaders. Here is what they advise:
1. Encourage Seeking Out Profiles Of ‘Future Selves’
LinkedIn is a superb resource for finding mentors. I would advise young employees to seek out profiles of their “future selves,” and respectfully request that person’s career advice. The relationship can then blossom from there. – Yu Lee, Kasasa
2. Connect Over Specific Projects
Connecting young employees with mentors is most effective when efforts coalesce around specific projects or areas of interest. Capturing interest groups in security, internet of things, finance, or specific topic areas can help build camaraderie and trust to set the stage for more natural engagement and mutual growth. – Jason Crabtree, QOMPLX, Inc.
3. Meet Potential Mentors In Person
Don’t email: Meet people in person. Go to where they are—such as conferences or events—and walk up and introduce yourself. Then explain what you’re working on that you’re excited about. – Tiffany Chu, Remix
4. Find Mentors Willing To Share Enthusiasm
Seeking opportunities to connect real-life scenarios to school work and relevant experiences typically prove useful in empowering young employees to connect to different technologies. In school, the work is all theory, with some examples. Once in the workplace though, younger employees can see firsthand what products leverage these academic theories. It also helps to have seasoned employees who are excited about their work and a willingness to share that excitement with younger employees. Enthusiasm is contagious! Sharing knowledge and enthusiasm with young employees gets them excited about the work while also connecting the theories they learned in school with real-life applications. – Dan Gamota, Jabil
5. Join Mentors On ‘Social Hackatons’
We need to face the fact that young employees are always striving for immediate results and knowledge. What I think works the best to connect the dots here is bringing mentors with the young employees on what I call “social hackathons” when both can hack on the real social problems, think together and do real good. Technology is an answer to many social problems and doing mutual bigger good could be the glue needed to overcome the gap. – Ivan Guzenko, SmartyAds Inc.
6. Invite Successful Leaders To Speak To Your Organization
Organizations should keep inviting successful leaders who can talk about their life and success strategies as well as communicate the path to finding mentors in their life. Leaders can be given a theme beforehand with a focus on employees getting a motivation to learn, network and connect with mentors who can provide a path to success. – Parag Arora, Glowing, Inc
7. Create A Platform Where Mentors And Mentees Can Meet
I have found that there’s just no substitute for someone who is proactive and wants a mentor so badly they’ll ask for one. I don’t think it’s useful to randomly pair individuals, but rather to have a platform where employees (mentor and mentee) can find each other. – Rachelle Palmer, MongoDB
8. Make Mentoring A Part Of The Onboarding Process
Mentoring should be part of the onboarding process for new employees. Set up one-to-one meetings with more experienced employees as a start. It’s also important to encourage young employees to participate in technical communities and attend meetups and conferences, which is a good way to meet and learn from more experienced people. – Miguel Valdes Faura, Bonitasoft
Read more in Why The Corporate World Needs Lifetime Learners
9. Help Employees Articulate What They Want In A Mentor
Encouraging early career employees to be thoughtful about mentor attributes and then use personal connections to find and approach mentors, is helpful. In Austin, Capital Factory is a great way to connect rising technology leaders with mentors. Accelerators like Techstars are great, too. – Steven Semelsberger, Testlio Inc.
10. Have Employees Share Their Success Stories
Young employees first need to be convinced about the need for mentors and the benefits of being in the technology space. Once they realize their strength of being agile and in their fast-learning, unencumbered phase of their lives, they engage more purposefully. Most young employees already realize that most powerful companies these days are all technology companies. Yet, they don’t see a connection between getting the right mentor who can help them get there themselves. Nothing works better than someone their age sharing what they gained from a similar pursuit. Experience sharing helps create a visualization in young employees’ minds and build a roadmap they can get behind. – Paroon Chadha, Passageways