What's always missing for me from the conversation around design mentors is actual examples of real mentorships. I personally always try to be helpful online when I can but I would never call myself a "mentor", because to me that implies a much deeper relationship with someone.
Similarly, I would never ask someone else to become my mentor, because to me that would essentially mean asking them to spend a huge chunk of their time coaching me for free.
I would love to change my mind about this, but I always only see sites focusing on the "getting in touch" part of the mentoring relationship, and not on what happens afterwards…
I completely agree with all of your thoughts. The big thing i've been hearing in my local community a lot recently is that Jr. Designers don't feel like they have a way to get advice and learn more from experienced designers, and in turn they don't feel they are equipped to do the job. This is a starting stab at initiating conversation, however to your point I would love to see if we could build out more of a framework of what a real "mentorship" entails and equip both sides with some content around it.
Interested to help? :)
My response to this was to open up a slack group for the people on my newsletter that was looking for a more personal connection. Really, I wanted to be able to help all the people on there, but with the 40 or so people that have joined already, even spending an hour with each would be 40hours a week.
What I feel you can gain is that everyone is at some point going to go through the same (or similar) experiences and they can kind of help each other grow. Now, I am in that community every day answering questions and sharing resources, but it allows an opportunity for discussion, multiple people helping someone through something, and a more personal connection with me and the people.
I have a handful of more experienced designers there to help with things too. So maybe, having a group like that can help people seek feedback they need, and even faster than a one on one relationship
I'd say it's as simple as providing guidance over time. If someone is regularly asking you how best to do things and you're replying, it's a mentorship. Working in an office under someone and learning from them, also a mentorship. Being a father to a son, mentorship.
I thought a lot about this last night after reading some of my emails and DMs. Back to Sacha's point, I wonder if we can perhaps have two paths to mentoring, a simple and extensive approach. As Sacha mentioned, a long term, committed mentoring path is a serious commitment. However, many of the questions I'm hearing from this Jr. group aren't that they want hand holding, they just want someone to ask a question, or review a resume. That makes me wonder if just a light-hearted mentors where there aren't any long term commitments is just one of the two options?
This is still in early stages, thank you for great thought provoking questions !
David, if you don't want this to become another avenue where newbies can pose as experts you should probably address these questions:
What qualifies one as a mentor?
How would you stop every Tom, Dick and Harry pose as a mentor?
How would one know that those listed have the capacity to mentor?
Hey Rakesh, I completely agree, and this in a lot of ways dovetails with the comments Sasha was making above. This early stage prototype is simply to gauge interest in whether or not this is a helpful resource.
I would love to do a whole page breaking down what it means to be a mentor, why it matters, who should be a mentor, etc.. For now we've kept it quite simple but we'll try to improve it as quick as we can! Thank you for the great feedback!
We've rolled out an approval flow now so everyone doesn't automatically become listed, so we can screen. We are also working on a Design Mentors Manifesto of guidelines for being a mentor and how you should approach helping others.
Also, mentors can now turn their availability on and off depending on their capacity constraints. We are working on more ideas here too!
So many female faces. I feel some welcome.
It's an open list anyone can add their name to if they feel they can offer some sort of help or advice to others.
That seems pretty welcoming, have I missed something?
Yes, you have. The point is how females take a small chunk of IT community and it is sad.
It has been great to see more females pop up on our list. However you are right, we need to keep making noise and pushing for females to be better represented in all areas of business (not just IT).
So you are both right. I agree Antonia, I would LOVE to see more female faces on there as I know there is a ton of talent out there. This is early on, so hopefully, we will see that change as we add more folks over the coming days/weeks. To James point, he is also right, this is a completely open forum where ANYONE can submit their profile and be welcomed here.
This is great! Thank you!
Just pushed a big update with lots of new names and faces!
This is a follow up to a previous thread from Juan Mena. I think it is a really interesting idea to have a list of designers willing to help younger designers in all aspect of their craft. I'm interested if people prefer a Google Doc or putting it in a simple easy to read format like http://desmentor.com.
Any feedback welcome!