Just as you ve had mentors who have significantly helped you, you have an obligation to be a mentor to others.
I like to believe that I was a mentor, at least briefly , to Garry Reinhard. I helped Garry get into IBM because I needed him to help me create the IBM Apparel Business System software product, then I watched him accelerate through many opportunities ”so much so that he has become a mentor of sorts to me.
Be prepared to give a significant amount of your time and energy to mentor others, as others have given time and energy to mentor you. However, you will have to guard against those who will utilize your time and talents without applying themselves enough to deserve your mentoring. To achieve a successful and lasting relationship, the mentor and the mentee must both give of themselves. And the mentee must be worthy of his or her mentor s time and trust.
A talented and hardworking programmer who connects with an influential mentor has the greatest chance for success. Indeed, keen as I am on the virtues of talent and hard work (and some people think I m so high on them that I m over the top), if I had to choose between being talented and hardworking, but not having a mentor, or being average in skill and zeal but having a powerful mentor, I would choose the latter.
You have many opportunities to find valuable and powerful mentors who will project your career upward as you, in turn , help them with their careers. Placing yourself in high-visibility and high-potential situations, specifically projects that are very important to upper management, will put you in the spotlight for probable selection by a well-connected mentor as he or she moves up inside or outside your company.