Secrets of a Stealth Mentee

40be222374e709cae7543dee233fe2e1?s=47 Katherine Wu
November 13, 2018

Secrets of a Stealth Mentee

Abstract:
Your dream mentor is right around the corner, but they don't need to know that! In this talk, you’ll discover how to find and work with the great mentors you deserve. You’ll learn how to extract insights tailored to you and to keep the great advice coming. The best part? You can use these strategies even if you're not in a formal mentorship program. Maybe you don’t even know what you want right now, and that’s ok! You can still receive mentorship to help you identify and grow into the next stage of your career. We don’t have to wait to be chosen--let’s help others help us.

This talk was presented at RubyConf 2018.

40be222374e709cae7543dee233fe2e1?s=128

Katherine Wu

November 13, 2018
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Transcript

  1. SECRETS OF A STEALTH MENTEE @KWUGIRL

  2. @KWUGIRL AGENDA ▸ the problem ▸ why do we care?

    ▸ the solutions ▸ recommended resources
  3. THE PROBLEM @KWUGIRL

  4. @KWUGIRL BEFORE: A TYPICAL MENTORING INTERACTION ▸ someone I was

    matched up to somewhat randomly ▸ good intentions on both sides, but not sure what to talk about ▸ nothing is different afterwards
  5. @KWUGIRL AFTER! ▸ applied for (and got offered) jobs I

    thought I wasn’t qualified for ▸ changed careers ▸ conference talks ▸ salary negotiation
  6. @KWUGIRL Mentors vs. sponsors

  7. Mentors give me perspective, but sponsors give me opportunity. Cate

    Huston @KWUGIRL
  8. @KWUGIRL YMMV ▸ comfort level with asking for help from

    others (ask vs. guess culture) ▸ play to your interests and strengths ▸ get creative
  9. WHY DO WE CARE? @KWUGIRL

  10. SO WE CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD! (SORRY, MATZ)

  11. It’s good for your career! …someone? @KWUGIRL

  12. @KWUGIRL Demystify the world

  13. @KWUGIRL Understand your options

  14. @KWUGIRL Learn things the easy way

  15. THE SOLUTIONS @KWUGIRL

  16. @KWUGIRL 1. “ALWAYS BE MENTEE-ING"

  17. @KWUGIRL 2. FIND YOUR 
 “KINDRED SPIRITS”

  18. @KWUGIRL 3. KEEP IT “EASY, BREEZY, BEAUTIFUL”

  19. ALWAYS BE MENTEE-ING CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP

  20. KINDRED SPIRITS WHO MIGHT MAKE A GOOD MENTOR?

  21. @KWUGIRL Matched up vs. organic

  22. @KWUGIRL Are you my mentor?

  23. @KWUGIRL Are you my mentor?

  24. @KWUGIRL CHARACTERISTICS I LOOK FOR ▸ someone who has a

    similar personality and communication style ▸ but who has had different experiences or surprising thinking ▸ someone I admire but also could be vulnerable with
  25. @KWUGIRL Redefine “networking”

  26. @KWUGIRL MANY DIFFERENT WAYS THIS CAN WORK ▸ meeting people

    at conferences ▸ giving positive, thoughtful feedback ▸ sharing their projects ▸ taking people up on their offers to help
  27. @KWUGIRL Embrace the awkward

  28. EASY MAKE IT

  29. @KWUGIRL WHEN REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE ▸ conversations usually easier

    than emails, but it depends ▸ offer a few options on scheduling time & location ▸ take the initiative on the administrivia ▸ no homework needed
  30. BREEZY KEEP IT

  31. @KWUGIRL KEEP IT LOW-KEY & CASUAL ▸ lessen the burden

    or sense of responsibility: “unofficial mentor” ▸ be specific on why you’re reaching out to them in particular ▸ tone: "I respect your work and would love to learn from you.”
  32. BEAUTIFUL AND, OF COURSE,

  33. @KWUGIRL It’s ok to not know what to talk about

  34. @KWUGIRL ASK FOR EXPERIENCES, NOT ADVICE ▸ Cal Newport’s strategy

    for extracting insights ▸ consider people you meet as interview subjects ▸ ask for experiences, rather than advice. then consider the insights
  35. @KWUGIRL SAMPLE TOPICS: PROBLEM-SOLVING ▸ go over current dilemmas you’re

    facing ▸ discuss options ▸ get feedback on proposed solutions
  36. @KWUGIRL SAMPLE TOPICS: DECISION-MAKING ▸ anything that is ever mentioned

    as “case-by-case” ▸ need to build up technical intuition over time ▸ what made you decide to ____? ▸ what factors should be considered? ▸ what would have changed your mind? ▸ how did you decide what project would be interesting to do next?
  37. @KWUGIRL SAMPLE TOPICS: BEHIND-THE-SCENES ▸ effort shock: getting the real

    details on effort to hone skills ▸ how did you do that? ▸ what was your strategy to achieve your goal? ▸ how did you work through a mistake?
  38. @KWUGIRL SAMPLE TOPICS: PERSONAL FEEDBACK ▸ What do you see

    in my performance or approach that I could do better? ▸ If I want to get from 'x' to 'y' in my career, what do you think I should be focusing on, and what kind of path would be most helpful? ▸ How can I be perceived as more ___? ▸ What would be helpful for me to learn more about?
  39. @KWUGIRL You don’t have to take all the advice

  40. @KWUGIRL Make it feel rewarding to mentor you

  41. @KWUGIRL Follow up & stay in touch

  42. It’s remarkable how much people appreciate hearing from you when

    you don’t want something from them. Tina Brown @KWUGIRL
  43. @KWUGIRL Build relationships with trust

  44. @KWUGIRL PAY IT FORWARD & MENTOR OTHERS ▸ learn something

    better by teaching it ▸ consider from an instructor’s perspective ▸ Thoughtbot’s mentor handbook: https://github.com/thoughtbot/ apprenticeship/blob/master/mentor-handbook.md
  45. RESOURCES @KWUGIRL

  46. @KWUGIRL ARTICLES: REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE ▸ https://cate.blog/2015/11/23/advice-mentors-and-questionably-helpful-emails ▸ https://www.inc.com/alison-green/when-your-mentor-wont-respond-to-your-

    emails.html ▸ https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a22521435/black-women-talk-tech- mentorship-questions ▸ http://www.beleaderly.com/ask-jo-whats-the-best-way-to-approach-a-mentor ▸ https://daedtech.com/how-to-write-emails-people-wont-respond-to-give-them- homework
  47. @KWUGIRL MOAR ARTICLES ▸ https://cate.blog/2014/04/16/sponsors-mentors-and-allies ▸ http://www.effectiveengineer.com/blog/secret-to-effective-one-on-ones ▸ xyproblem.info ▸

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18544_how-the-karate-kid-ruined-modern- world.html ▸ https://blog.ycombinator.com/what-to-do-with-too-much-advice ▸ https://cupofjo.com/2018/07/easy-way-to-network
  48. @KWUGIRL PODCASTS & VIDEOS ▸ Ask A Manager podcast ▸

    https://www.shouldwe.co/season-02/give-advice ▸ https://cate.blog/2016/05/17/management-and-misanthropy-with-cate-and- camille ▸ my Ask vs. Guess culture talk: http://kwugirl.blogspot.com/2015/05/ask-vs- guess-culture-communications.html
  49. @KWUGIRL BLOGS ▸ Cate Huston (cate.blog) ▸ Ask A Manager

    (askamanager.org) ▸ Julia Evans (jvns.ca) ▸ Camille Fournier (elidedbranches.com) ▸ Cal Newport (calnewport.com/blog)
  50. @KWUGIRL BOOKS

  51. + THANK YOU! @KWUGIRL

  52. APPENDIX @KWUGIRL

  53. Pinky & The Brain, 
 tv show “Baby Cobra”, 


    Ali Wong’s standup comedy special Glengarry Glen Ross, movie the awkward turtle Anne of Green Gables Are You My Mother?, children’s book Harmony Bear & Friend Bear, 
 Care Bears Rosie the Riveter