With more professionals job-hopping, working overtime and balancing the demands of their entrepreneurial endeavors and their 9-to-5, the idea of being secure with one professional mentor is a thing of the past. According to Mary Pender Greene, author of Creative Mentorship and Career Building Strategies: How to Build Your Virtual Personal Board of Directors, one of the biggest mistakes young professionals make today is thinking they can have one mentor who is going to meet all of their professional needs.
Creating the idea of a virtual personal board of directors (VPBOD), Greene advises all professionals to have multiple people in their network who they can turn to.
“If you think about it, each company has a board of directors that helps with the health and development of the organization. So like a working board, you want different kinds of people,” Pender Greene tells BlackEnterprise.com. “You want someone that’s good with money, someone that’s good with career strategy, and someone that’s good with self-care. All that is offered through mentor-type relationships where one person won’t be leaned on on a consistent basis.”
In her book, which is available now on Amazon, Pender Greene offers the following benefits to having a VPBOD.
1. Provides access to diverse professional wisdom: As you evolve within your profession and your interests grow and change, it’s best to have a pool of professionals within your network that can meet your constantly changing needs. Having a VPBOD will not only help you to elevate your career, but it will also help you to expand your scope and interests.
2. Maximizes time: In today’s fast-paced world, no one really has the time to be that only go-to mentor who’s free to meet on a regular basis in an attempt to address all of your needs. Having multiple people you can turn to for mentorship advice requires less time from the people who serve on your VPBOD and it allows you to pull the specific information you need from the right person when you need it.
3. Helps you to better maintain relationships: In the past, professionals may have entered a new job, built a relationship with a co-worker at the company and worked with that person for the next 10 years of their professional career. Nowadays, with 45 percent of recent college graduates expected to stay in their first job for two years or less, the idea of working for an extended period of time with the same colleague is not as common. Rather than you or your co-worker switching jobs and losing contact with each other, adding that person to your VPBOD will keep you guys connected. Additionally, Pender Greene advises professionals to stay in touch with colleagues both young and old as career quips can be learned from anyone.
To learn more about the concept of a VPBOD register here for Black Enterprise’s 2016 Women of Power Summit, where Pender Greene will share advice for choosing the right people for your team.