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Now Hiring: Second Brain

April 7, 2009

sparking-recovery-with-brain-pacemakers_11In career services we preach that you need to find yourself a mentor. A mentor is someone who guides you, gives you their insight and their professional advice. I have been very lucky to have had some GREAT mentors during the course of my career in education. Betty Wilting, my former Dean at the technical college and Renee Herzing the President of the Herzing University System have both been exceptional examples to both emulate and seek advice from. They’ve taught me much about student services, leading a team of employees and too, some hard lessons along the way. The “calm down Amy moments” that I’ve stumbled on from time to time that turned into valuable lessons on leadership, management and life.

Mentors also get the privilege of watching their staff or mentee grow, learn, flourish and become mentors themselves. As I grown my current position, I strive to be a great example and mentor to my staff as Betty and Renee have done for me. As the Director of Career Services I would tell all students and graduates to find a mentor and to establish a mutually beneficial relationship that will help your career grow. Additionally I would say that there is one other person I recommend that you find as you climb the career ladder of your choice. Your second brain.

The old adage goes that two brains are better than one. It’s true.

You need to find yourself a second brain and here is why. You are not perfect and you will never be. You make mistakes, we all do and we all will continue to do so. Sometimes you need someone to look over a document you created; ask your second brain. Sometimes you need an extra set of ears to listen to an idea; ask your second brain. Sometimes you need a voice of reason to stop you from doing something detrimental; ask your second brain. Sometimes you need a vote of confidence when you aren’t 100% confident in yourself; ask your second brain.

Finding a person that you can trust, that can think objectively and give you a differing opinion is a gift. They can add perspective that we often can’t see ourselves. The synergy that two people brainstorming can create can be very productive and effective. Your second brain can reinforce ideas and can stop train wrecks from happening. They are a safety checkpoint for your actions; let’s face it sometimes in life we need a safety net. This person might be a loved one, a co-worker, a friend or too it could be your mentor or manager.

So in addition to finding a great mentor; find a person to be your second brain. This person can be a beneficial member of your Career Team and help you find success for the long term. In the spirit of this blog, I’d like to dedicate it to my mentors Renee and Betty and to my second brain, Kay.


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