So what might you learn from a mentoring relationship? I asked the Tableau community what advice they’ve shared or received. Interestingly, people didn’t list technical know-hows; what they shared was more motivational than anything.
I also heard from people who said their unofficial mentor had given them the confidence to engage, contribute, and reach out. This might be some of my favorite tips.
You can have mentors for different aspects of your life or work. In my case, in addition to Matt, I've found others to learn from. This group includes people like Emily Chen of The Information Lab and Anya A’Hearn of DataBlick. Their perspectives and their technical skills (mapping, Alteryx, and design) make me want to fill the rest of this sentence with heart-eye emojis.
For example, I could ask Allan Walker to mentor me on the basics of coding. I could ask Anya about data-viz design principles. And I can reach out to Brittany Fong to explore tile maps. The point is that there is no one mentor to rule them all (did you get that subtle LOTR reference?).
As a mentee, you have to be willing to give back to your mentors. But how, you ask? Maybe it’s by being a sounding board or by providing blogging tips or presentation skills. Your strengths may not be your mentor’s strengths, which means you have things to contribute as well.
This is important because mentoring isn’t a one-way street. Even if you can’t give something back immediately, you can extend an open invitation to help anytime. But do mean it and do deliver if the person indeed does ever reach out.