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Careers are made out of the wreckage of plans, folly, hope and trial. We strive and mimic. We make the lives of others, their stories and success, fuel for our own endeavors. If we are lucky the survivors mentor us, teach as they traverse, and we gain wisdom at a discount.

Mentoring can be a formal relationship with obligations of time spent, measured in alliances and apprenticeship. Oftentimes, a mentor-mentee relationship develops organically from something quite like a friendship between folks looking to share and to add to a teachable spirit. It is an ageless affair between skill sets, looking to and from, and it is vital in an economy of scale where what you know is less important than who you know, when you knew it and where you will take that information. We are all widgets becoming an asset in context. Networks provide the entrée, the circumstance for the happening of your future. 

Networking isn’t about popularity but about comfort, providing familiarity that allows for people to enter into relationship. It isn’t about the most cards or the most diverse database but about space for feeling, feelings that inspire a connection of goodwill and extension of personal space. Face time isn’t about just showing your face but about a revealing of your interests, energy and listening skills.

Just recently several doors were opened to me by way of friends I made during my days at Vermont Law School. A reputation for hard work and a knack for good conversation stayed in the memories of classmates who thought of me when a job announcement surfaced. In these times a memory is as good as a fairy godmother who rather than sprinkling you with dust fertilizes the job search with real leads and positive references. Need I say more?





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