I Once Had A Mentor Who…

I once had a mentor who...

Linking up with Clairey Hewitt

I once had a mentor who...

This is an interesting prompt. I once had a mentor who…


And that might be where this post ends. I’ve never had a mentor. Most especially not professionally. I’ve basically always had contract jobs (some long term, but contract all the same). The bad part about contract jobs is that no one wants to invest in your professional development. And that includes mentoring you. There are bosses who are helpful, and that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to a mentor. A good boss!


It’s not all bad though. The good thing about contract work (and crappy temp jobs to fill the gaps between decent contracts) is that you get to see inside a lot of places, get exposed to a lot of things, and generally find that nothing is as unique to a company or industry as you think it is!


The part I hate is when I’m job hunting. I feel like I often get subjected to a ‘flighty’ Gen Y stereotype for always having had contract jobs. It’s not like I haven’t applied for permanent jobs. It’s not like I don’t want a reliable income. But I’m not able to just sit around and wait for a permanent job to show up. And then a contract job arrives… so I take it. I’ve spoken to people overseas and it’s funny, most of them have never heard of casual or contract work. Or they’ve heard of it, but never really seen it because jobs are just permanent there. And these are countries that were hit by the GFC much harder than Australia. Makes you wonder, really…


Have you ever had a mentor? What do you think about the excess of contract work in Australia?


12 Replies to “I Once Had A Mentor Who…”

  1. I have many brilliant mentors, and in my field I’m lucky to have so many super skilled and experienced people to go to. My field is find of a specialist thing, so I may never be affected by contracts, and I’ll only ever be able to work in major cities. But mentors, Yes! and Thank goodness for them!

    1. I’ve had the weirdest mix of specialist and non specialist jobs. I guess the key difference is the funding/business model. My area is so reliant on grants or government budgets…it’s more reliable for me to take an unrelated job.

  2. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic mentor at Telstra who encouraged my professional development. At my new job there’s none of that so I am thankful for it!
    You’re about the only person I know that takes contract work so I don’t know how common it is!

    1. I sometimes do feel I’m the only person who’s always been on contracts! 🙂

  3. You know I’ve had a few in the newspaper industry, and not just old school journos, but younger ones, as you will read about today! It’s hard when you’re a contractor, you are right people don’t take the time to help you.

    1. A mentor to pick your battles – now that’s something we could all use haha

  4. I have had mentors over the years and my hubby is in IT so he hires contractors all the time. There are benefits to both being a fulltime employee and being a contractor. No office politics! xx

    1. Haha yes, the lack of office politics (or knowing you’re out in a short time, so who cares about them) is a HUGE benefit!

  5. You are not alone at the not having a mentor party. I am the host! So pleased to find that others feel mentor-less as well xx

    1. I think never having one isn’t always a bad thing, it makes you self-reliant. But it may not be the fastest or easiest way.

  6. COntracting would be so hard for PD. Pretty sure wherever I have worked the contracters never get much PD, unless it was kind of all staff need to know this…

    But, keep your eyes out – mentors are everywhere and if you ask them to be like a ‘real mentor’ I bet they would all say yes.

    1. Yeah, I mean you get the all staff bulletins, some in house training. But external training? Nope!

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