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Cover image for No, I will not mentor you.

No, I will not mentor you.

I often get asked...

"Will you mentor me?" => And the answer is: No !

However... the "why not" might surprise you.

It's not that I don't want to help... It's that when you ask this question, you're asking more effort from me than you're giving yourself.

When someone reaches out to me like this...

I always ask them the same four questions:

  1. What role are you targeting?
  2. Why do you think you specifically can get that role?
  3. What FIVE skills are you focussing on?
  4. What skills are you NOT focussing on?

Answer these four questions and you'll get immense clarity on your route into the cloud industry. No mentoring required.

I'm not "anti mentoring".

I'm just pro: self-sufficiency, empowering you with tools to unblock yourself—and radical and honest feedback and advice!

If you can find a mentor—amazing!

If not, you can follow my suggestions (for free).

I will link a YouTube video that walks you through these four questions below 👇 In the YouTube video there is also a multi-page PDF that walks you through these exact questions !

Top comments (7)

geochronology profile image
Chris Perry

I hear what you're saying and the snark of the title made me smile :D

IMHO, you don't really need a mentor before you land a role in the industry. Until then, the mentor is life, and your ability to be resourceful enough to figure out how to become employable.

Another "mentor" can be job interviews. Generally during technical rounds, if you have a weak spot or build a solution sub-optimally or whatever -- in other words, if you can -kinda- solve the problem but not well -- then usually you'll get some pretty great feedback on where you can focus and improve.

But yeah, 99% of the time should be learning how to be self-reliant and figure out how to get the specific answers you need to concrete problems, rather than looking for handholding.

katafrakt profile image
Paweł Świątkowski

Actually, I believe that mentoring inside the company is a pretty cool idea - usually the goal and tooling are already set to some extent, you do have to work together anyway and the question of compensation is kinda taken out of the way. I wish companies supported that more.

vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde

While being resourceful & self-reliant is the apt way to progress one's career, having a good mentor who can guide once in a while really makes a difference. This holds true especially when one moves up into more senior roles.

Also from personal experience, there's very few people & companies who would give detailed feedback on weak points / focus areas in job interviews. Most others would simply turn down with no feedback whatsoever.

aditmodi profile image
Adit Modi

I have experienced both ends of the spectrum—looking for a mentor and then serving as one for others and I can attest to the notion that being independent is crucial.

yuridevat profile image
Julia 👩🏻‍💻 GDE

Nice one. Copy & paste for many many dm waitimg for an answer 😅

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard

would it be best to do that privately, like email, or publicly, for example here?

jasondunn profile image
Jason Dunn [AWS]

I somehow missed seeing this until now. Good read!