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Water Cooler

Information and insight about your career and the workplace at large
Holiday Season 2005

In the spirit of traditional holiday gift exchanges, I invite you, this month, to get and to give.

Get a mentor for yourself, and/or consider giving the gift of mentoring to others. Maybe you've been reading — and doing — the Watercolor miniseries, in which you practice one self-mentoring behavior each month. If so, you've come a long way

And maybe now you're ready to find a mentor for yourself. The trend today is to find what Susan RoAne called a "mentor of the moment." Someone who works with you for a limited time, on specific skills or knowledge you'd like to acquire. You can get started on that search here, today. Check out the list at the bottom of the page.

That's the getting part. Now for the giving. If you're subscribing to and reading this newsletter, you know the value of having a mentor. And so, this holiday season, consider offering your hard-won knowledge and experience to someone else.

This someone can be a coworker who's new to the office, a niece or nephew who'll soon be entering the work force, or a child you don't even know yet but who knows s/he needs the kind of caring a mentor can provide. There's a list of organizations looking for mentors, too, at the bottom of the page.

As Kahlil Gibran wrote, "You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." So consider giving the gift of mentoring, and getting some friends or colleagues involved, too. Forward this newsletter; spark something "right in your own neighborhood."

As for me, I've signed up to mentor a young writer in 2006. I'll keep you posted.

In the spirit of a holiday blessed with a balance of giving and receiving, happy mentoring to all!

Places to Get a Mentor

Peer Resources

Mentoring.Org

Find a Mentor

Places to Be a Mentor

Girls in Technology (local to Northern Virginia)

Little Owl Mentoring for Young Writers

Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry