Are Mentors Still Needed In Today’s Workplace?

by Denise Felder

Career advisers and business leaders agree: Having a mentor is an important and effective way to increase your career success.

Students and new professionals in all fields are encouraged to find an experienced manager or employee to give them advice and guide them in their professional journeys.

“Mentors have not only taught me about what is important (both personally and professionally); they have also given me several big breaks,” startup founder Chris Myers said on

Forbes Magazine is not the only influential outlet to promote professional mentoring.

HuffPost touts the Importance of Mentorship. And Inc. Magazine lists 10 Reasons Why a Mentor is a Must.

Photo by Andrew Robles

A quick Google search uncovers thousands (literally) more examples of business consultants and career coaches telling job seekers and employees new in the United States workplace why and how to find a mentor.

The majority of the business people giving this advice are Baby Boomers or Generation Xers who place a high value on the opinions and knowledge of older, more experienced people.

The mentoring relationship they are promoting is also well suited for the “traditional” corporate office workplace. Today’s workplace is not the same as it was in the 1980s and 1990s. The economy, the workforce, and business structures has changed.

Has the need for professional mentoring relationships changed, too? Or do potential mentors and would-be protégés simply need to redefine leadership development?

Think about how your culture affects your views of mentoring.

How might professional mentoring relationships be perceived by immigrant students and new employees from countries other than the United States?

What about generational differences? How might age affect the goals and expectations of a mentoring relationship?

In today’s evolving workplace, is mentoring still needed? If so, what does a successful professional mentoring relationship look like?

Share your thoughts and experiences with us.


Students Are Not Robots! Using Technology to Create Meaningful Communication

by Eric Chester ~

When I was a teenager growing up in the 70s, my father wanted me to get a much better education than the 10th grade education he had to settle for during the Great Depression.

To scare me into studying harder, Dad would tear out pages of the futuristic monthly magazine, Popular Science, and lay them on my bed to show me that computers would someday take over the world. And if I couldn’t use a computer, someday I would be replaced by one.

Dear old Dad was smarter than I thought back then. His prediction has become a reality; at least, for me it has.

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First Week on the Job

by Princess Fanning

The experience I’ve had while working with DEED has been a tremendous opportunity for me. I’ve met many new people and expanded my perspective on what’s out there in the world. I’d advise anyone who feels they want to strive for something more in life to go for it! Nothing is impossible. Undertaking this new journey in the business world will prepare me for the next step in my work and education.


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How to Describe Gaps in Employment

by Goodwill Easter Seals ReEntry Services

A gap in employment is a period of months or years in which one was not employed. An employment gap is caused by situations such as the inability to find work, going back to school, or serving a prison sentence. It will appear on your resume when you list your job experience. Employment gaps are red flags for employers. If they see one on your resume, they will most likely ask about it during your interview.


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Hiring Difficulties for Information Technology Occupations

by Alessia Leibert

The newest survey from Minnesota’s Labor Market Information Office explores hiring difficulties through in-depth interviews with employers about their experience filling (or not filling) recently open positions. The most recent findings track Information Technology (IT) occupations, including software developers and computer support specialists.


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Are Skills Scarce?

by Alessia Leibert

If 2012 saw the biggest increase in Minnesota job openings since 2005, not all opportunities led to job creation. Some employers faced difficulties filling vacant positions, while others were still reluctant to commit to hiring and preferred waiting for the ideal job candidate to come along. The apparent contradiction between the availability of jobs and the inability of employers to fill them led some commentators to point to “skills gaps” as a major constraint to employment recovery after the Great Recession.


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Measuring Talent

by Rachel Vilsack

According to a new report (pdf) from the MN State Demographic Center, workers with higher-order skills and education – or “talent” – are an important part of our state’s workforce. The ability to train, retain, and recruit talented workers will impact our current and long-term economic growth.  So, how does Minnesota’s talent stack up?


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Work as a Way of Being

by Rachel Vilsack

Most of us define ourselves by what we do for a living. The Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, says that that the way you support yourself can be an expression of your deepest self and promote compassion for others. This concept is called right livelihood. The search for meaningful work is important; how do we find a vocation that reflects our personal values, beliefs, and vision for how we see ourselves and others in this world?


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