Mentoring 2023 – want some help from me?

[Edit 12/16/2022:the deadline for submissions is now closed.]

In 2015 I mentored 54 people for six months.

In 2020 I mentored 37 people on-and-off for over a year.

In 2023 I’ll be mentoring ?…

Why do I do it? I get nothing from this; I just like doing it.

I find it hugely rewarding to help people in a wide variety of non-technical subjects, including:

  • General career development
  • Deciding whether or not to change jobs
  • Becoming a consultant
  • Résumé review and enhancement
  • How to hire people
  • Increasing influence
  • Learning how to work with their manager
  • Communication skills (e.g. writing emails, writing documents, writing clearly)
  • Community exposure
  • Value of certifications
  • Managing a team
  • Persuasion skills
  • Questioning skills
  • Dealing with stress and frustration
  • Work/life balance
  • Blogging
  • Presentation skills and public speaking
  • Time management
  • Evaluating SQL Server skill set
  • Goal setting
  • Dealing with people
  • Mentoring people

If I remember correctly, in the last round I think I helped 7 or so people decide to change jobs for a better work environment suited to their goals, and several people to start public speaking (some of whom spoke at PASS a few weeks ago!). It was hugely satisfying to help so many people with their careers and lives, in a non-technical capacity.

Now it’s time to do it again, so this blog post serves as a call for prospective mentees!

Please read the rest of this post carefully, so you’re clear how this works. We’re making a time commitment to each other so I want to be up-front about a few things.

Here are some rules for how I do this:

  • Everything is done over email, no exceptions. I like asynchronous. And sometimes I might not be able to reply for a week or two.
  • I only speak English, but I’m more than happy to work with anyone as long as I can understand what English you have.
  • Mentoring will begin January 1, 2023 and end sometime in June, 2023.
  • This isn’t SQL Server consulting or mentoring, it’s about you. I will not answer technical questions about SQL Server, no exceptions. But things like what to learn, how to learn, and so on are fair game.
  • What you get out of this depends on what you put in – I won’t chase you up to reply to anything I send.
  • My mentoring style is very blunt and honest and I do not sugar-coat things. I don’t mean I’m rude, I’m just clear and direct with my feedback and advice. If that’s going to offend or upset you, don’t enter.
  • There are some topics I will refuse to discuss, including politics and religion. Full list disclosed to those who qualify.

Here’s how to put yourself on the list:

  • Important: you cannot have been part of the Class of 2015 or the Class of 2020-1.
  • Write a blog post explaining why you would like to be mentored, and then post a link to your post as a comment on this post (it won’t appear right away as comments are moderated due to the amount of spam comments). No blog post, no entry in the list, no exceptions.
    • Really, no exceptions means no exceptions. Same as in the past when I’ve been asked.
  • Don’t make the post about me, make it about you. I already know about me :-) Think career, not technical problems.
  • You’ve got until Thursday 15th December at 23:59:59 PST – entries after that will not be considered.
  • Comments are moderated – you won’t see your comment until I approve it (which after 7-ish PST won’t be until the next morning) so no need to post multiple comments.

If this gets you to start a new blog or reactivate an old blog, so much the better!

I don’t know how many people I’ll decide to mentor this time around, and will likely just number everyone who wrote a good blog post and use a random function to pick X names. X will be between 10 and 50. What does ‘good blog post’ mean? You put some obvious thought and effort into it, but it’s at my sole discretion. I don’t care who you are, how old you are, where you are, who you work for, what gender you identify as, or how good your English is; you have as equal a chance of being picked as anyone else who wrote a good post.

Don’t like the rules or how to enter? No problem – but they’re not up for discussion, so just don’t enter :-)

I’ll pick the Class of 2023 and announce them in a blog post some time before Wednesday, 21st December, so you’ll need to watch for that post, which will ask you to email me.  Note: if you are picked, your name and a link to your post will be published in that post. If you want to be anonymous online, write under a pseudonym and email me so I know who you are, and I’ll use the pseudonym in the blog post.

Have fun – I look forward to helping a bunch of you!

50 thoughts on “Mentoring 2023 – want some help from me?

  1. I have no blog (so I’m not entering) but I read this page and I really want to thank you, Paul, for your wording. You chose the words “what gender you identify as” and that’s awesome. Thank you.

  2. Paul,

    I’ve been a big fan of your blog for years. I’m near the end of my career as a SQL Server DBA/Developer. I’ve worked for 35+ years as a contract/fte employee, changing jobs every 2-3 years. I want to breakout of the cubicle environment and become a truly independent consultant. I have a deep skillset and experience, but I lack the confidence to put myself out there. Would you be interested in helping me transition into the last phase of my career?

  3. Thank you Paul for the great work you are doing for our community, much appreciated.One question though, what happened to the SQL Skills laptop stickers we used to receive via snail mail?

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