I needed some career advice and decided to call my sister about it. A good chunk of the time I call my mother about it, and probably still will, but it got me thinking about the fact that outside of my own family, I’ve never actually had a professional mentor.
I guess it’s sad. I dunno, I don’t think about it much. I actually feel pretty fortunate because I do have my mom and sister as template, and a lot of professional women of color often have to navigate professional waters completely on their own. What’s more, my career has been decidedly weird. Fact is, I am part of an early generation (if not the first) of mid-career professionals in digital media.
I get asked for career advice in digital media at times but a good chunk of what I have done for my career especially going freelance, starting a business, etc. I wouldn’t suggest to other people unless it was out of necessity. Many of the risks I’ve taken haven’t been fully strategic but also borne from not seeing any other options, and a lot of opportunities I’ve gotten have been simply because no one told me no. I’m not sure what the “right” thing is for my career but honestly a lot of people in my career path have no clue either. It’s hard to have a solid path when the road itself is constantly changing.
It’s hard to find a mentor for a career path that didn’t really exist a decade ago. I do feel like I am in more of a position to help new graduates, though. So, I take that all in stride. But still, a mentor would still be nice.