What mentors do
Mentoring is an essential aspect of Nebulab: our focus on personal and professional growth is one of the main reasons people decide to join us. In turn, this focus allows us to stay relevant and to provide world-class consulting services to our clients. As you may imagine, being a mentor in Nebulab is kind of a big deal!
A mentor has many different responsibilities towards the company and their mentees, among them:
- Mentors ensure their mentees are always happy and growing, both as people and professionals.
- Mentors attend strategic meetings and help define company-wide policies and initiatives.
- Mentors act as informal project managers for clients, helping them to plan the work to do.
- Mentors lead by example, embodying the Nebulab values and culture.
With that said, being a mentor is as much of a privilege as it is a chore, and it also has its downsides:
- Mentors do not get nearly as much time for technical work as individual contributors - realistically, a mentor can expect to spend half their time writing code and the other half managing projects and people.
- Similarly, mentors are rarely able to work on their own Friday projects, because their Fridays are usually eaten by 1:1s and other meetings and company-related initiatives.
- All this management work is not as visible as technical contributions, so if you're someone who needs a very tight feedback loop (i.e. you need to immediately see the results of your work), you might find mentoring to be frustrating.
- As a mentor, you are accountable for other people. At times, this can feel like you don't have as much control as you used to, because you won't be able to fix every issue by yourself anymore.
You should keep in mind that being a mentor is not the only way to advance in Nebulab: there is always room for people to grow as individual contributors, and you shouldn't feel pressured to get into mentoring just because you think it's the only option.
If you still want to become a mentor, with all the pros and cons that entails, read on!
How mentoring works
The first step to become a mentor is to… talk to your mentor. :) They will help you figure out if mentoring is for you, if you are ready and where to start. One thing to keep in mind is that we try to have one mentor every 3/4 individual contributors, so there might not be space for new mentors even though you are a good fit. If that's the case, just be patient and wait for the next hires!
As a mentor, you will be assigned up to 4 mentees and 3 projects that you will manage. Of course, this will happen gradually, so that you have the time to get comfortable with your new role and responsibilities. Usually, individual contributors who become mentors are assigned to the client and team they are already working with, since it allows them to practice their mentoring skills in an environment they already know.
You will still hold regular 1:1s with a member of the leadership team, who will follow your progress and give you advice on how to up your mentoring game. Mentors need mentors too, after all!