Self-Mentoring – an Idea for the Twenty-First Century

This post, by Avil Beckford, originally appeared on The Invisible Mentor on 3/26/12. Indie authors and micropresses are forging new trails, and as such, most are obliged to self-mentor, whether they know it or not.

Numerous survey results tout the benefits of having a mentor. However, many of us will never be a part of a traditional mentoring relationship. So what do you do? Simple, you mentor yourself.

Self-mentoring is not a new concept, and according to Dr. Marsha L. Carr from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, “Self-mentoring occurs when the achiever (mentee) is willing to take the initiative while accepting responsibility for his/her own development by devoting time to navigate within the culture of his/her environment in order to make the most of opportunity to strengthen competencies needed to enhance job performance and career progression.”

That means that you are responsible for your own professional development.

Becoming a Self-Mentor

To mentor yourself, you have to know yourself, it’s a journey in self-awareness. You have to know your strengths, weaknesses, needs, values, limitations, passions, how you respond in various situations, and what’s really important to you. A good place to start is to conduct a Personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis, and do the mentoring needs assessment from the DIY Mentoring Program, Episode One.

After you have identified your needs, you have to go out there and identify ways to fill those needs. That’s not easy to do, and that’s why it requires commitment on your part. Self-mentoring is an important concept, and the Invisible Mentor is designed to help you mentor yourself, but it requires action on your part. You have to take the information and use it for your professional development.

Self-Mentoring on The Invisible Mentor Blog

To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Interviews, while you are reading them, answer the following questions:

  1. Are their similarities between the interviewee and yourself?
  2. In what ways can you use the information?
  3. In what ways would you respond differently from the interviewee?
  4. What are your five takeaways from the interview?
  5. After reading the interview, what is one concrete action you can take?
  6. What are five things you have learned that you can use in your job?

To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Profiles, while you are reading them, answer the following questions:


Read the rest of the article on The Invisible Mentor, and also see this follow-up post from the same site.