Jane Huxley, managing director of Pandora internet radio, says being both a mentee and mentor is a necessity in the current workplace where change is a constant. One of the challenges if you are starting a company is getting feedback and advice from other people on how to do it how to stay motivated how to get momentum, Huxley says. This is why she finds value in mentoring.
Huxley has worked in the past 25 years for large technology focused organisations incuding Microsoft, Vodafone and Fairfax in Australia. During those years, she says, she has collected a “smorgasbord of mentors”.
“I have kept them all throughout my own career,” she says. “I go back to those people and ask them for advice.”
She says this is what she did when she accepted her current role.
“I always make sure when we sit down for a coffee I am prepared to have a conversation, be clear about the advice I am looking for.
“I come prepared with insights about my own industry, observations I have made and reading I have done.
This way, she says, she can give them something as well.
“That way you do get repeat conversations,” she says of her mentors who range from people she has worked with and also with people from outside her work.
When Huxley joined Pandora in November 2012, she reached out to people who have been working in other digital enterprises. “Tell me everything you wish you have known, everything you did,” she says, on one such mentor.
“Play for the long game,” she says, is something she keeps in mind when it comes to developing a career.
Divina Paredes (@divinap) is editor of CIO New Zealand.
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