Brayden Haws

January 24, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Mentoring (by any Other Name)

When I started grad school there was a huge push for me to get a mentor. But whenever it was mentioned all I could think of was the Seinfeld episode. I didn’t see how a mentor could help me. Or help anyone. It was a few years before I realized that mentors had been helping me my whole life.

My first real mentor was my dad. He coached me through years and years of unknowns. And then there was my grandpa. He taught me how to build anything. How to take raw materials and shape them into something useful. There were friends and peers. They helped me figure out how to get through school. And bosses who helped me launch my career.

The realization turned me from a mentoring skeptic to a mentoring bull. All of us rely on mentors to get through life. And it’s on all of us to ensure we give back to those coming after us.

In my opinion, mentoring needs a rebrand. It should invoke images of generations lifting each other up. And feelings of gratitude. Instead, it invokes a picture of people in power suits with portfolios full of cover letters. The concept is solid but the marketing feels outdated.

Since it’s 2023 I had to ask ChatGPT. It said mentoring could be called: coaching, guiding, or empowering. Any of these is better but I don’t know if any of them is the winner. Whatever you call it, take the time to find someone who is in a position you once were in. Offer them a hand. Share your story with them and help them to write their story.

About Brayden Haws

Healthcare guy turned tech wannabe. Doing product stuff at Grow. Building Utah Product Guild⚒️. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product strategy and technology⬇️.

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