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OPM Mentoring

Mentoring is a two-way street. There are times in all our careers when we need help and guidance from a colleague or friend. And, we can learn as much from those we mentor as we can from those who advise us.

January is National Mentoring Month. Since 2010, the President has called on us to set aside time to communicate how mentoring can help us give back, support each other, and develop a world-class Federal workforce.

The Administration believes in mentoring. The President launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that focuses on helping our youth, including through mentorship relationships. The First Lady leads the “Reach Higher” initiative that encourages campus groups and college students to connect with high school students who need role models who can help them envision a college degree.

At OPM, we are helping agencies and employees across government encourage and institute ways to match mentors and mentees and learn more about the value of mentoring.

Since last summer, we have been piloting a government-wide mentoring hub that brings together mentors and mentees. We plan to launch this program across government later this year. We have also developed the SES Situational Mentoring Program to help senior executives deal with specific challenges or opportunities. In cooperation with agencies across government, OPM is also taking the lead on the Executive Women in Motion initiative where SES members serve as mentors in an effort to encourage more women to join the executive ranks.

Agencies across government also have designed their own mentoring programs. In addition to helping mentors and mentees connect, at OPM we are celebrating mentoring month by holding a Mentor Shadowing Day, situational mentoring roundtables, and speed mentoring sessions.

I’d like to invite Federal employees across government to join us Tuesday, February 23, at our Washington, D.C. headquarters or via webcast for a program entitled “Why Mentoring Matters.” Our guest speaker will be Christina Goldfuss, managing director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who will talk about how mentoring has influenced her career.

This event was moved to February because of the snow storm. Federal employees who would like to attend the event in person can go to to get registration information. The link to view the webcast is:

At OPM we believe mentoring is a critical element in workforce development, and while we encourage all employees to take advantage of the mentoring programs in their agencies, you don’t need a formal program to be a mentor or to find one. Mentoring someone can be as simple as getting a cup of coffee with a colleague. And finding a mentor can be as simple as approaching a co-worker you respect and admire and asking for some advice.

As National Mentoring Month comes to a close, let’s endeavor to develop and nurture mentoring relationships throughout the year. By doing so, we will enrich our careers and we will be to provide even better service to the American people.

Posted 6:08 PM by

Welcome to Mentorship Monday!

January was National Mentoring Month and throughout the Federal government agencies found innovative ways to continue to expand mentorship efforts and to increasingly make mentoring part of our workforce culture. Let’s keep that enthusiasm going!

I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentors along the way in my career. I know how much they meant to me and I hope as I’ve progressed in my work life I’ve paid that forward by being a mentor to colleagues.

Mentoring shouldn’t be a top-down experience. When mentorship relationships exist throughout the workforce, it fosters an atmosphere where people feel more engaged and included. This type of workplace environment helps agencies meet their missions through a more productive and successful workforce.

Just last week, OPM held a brown bag roundtable lunch to talk about a vision for the future of the OPM mentorship program. Participants shared ideas about how to foster a mentoring culture at the agency, and there will be more sessions to come. I plan to share more of these efforts at OPM and other mentorship activities in the coming months.

So let’s all get on board. Think about ways we can reach out to each other throughout the year to make mentoring a part of the everyday workplace experience. Think about what kind of a mentoring relationship you’re looking for. Talk to colleagues. Start your own group – formal or informal. You can inspire others in your own agency and throughout the Federal government.

On Mondays, look for me on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets so we can highlight what’s new and exciting on the mentorship front.

Let’s get mentoring!

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