Bad Idea: Don’t Have A Mentor


With design being such a broad and deep field, it’s an honest-to-goodness worst idea in the world to not have a mentor at some point in your career. To have a person to go to, with wisdom that supersedes ours by virtue of experience, is priceless and can act as a compass, litmus test and tuning fork for our designs, pointing us in the right direction. Interestingly enough, many professions from the medical field to engineering require apprenticeships as an early part of their career paths.

Side by side, you get to have someone of maturity coaching your journey, and even looking out for you, as they monitor your growth – bringing you closer to your ultimate career and personal goals. The Bible called this relationship discipleship and this model has existed since Jesus called twelve inexperienced persons to a larger purpose.

Why should design be any different?

With advice like, “work more on these types of projects if you want to pursue this type of career…” and “does this job match up with your career goals?”, these questions can often be the springboards to unleashing our true potential as creatives.

A good mentor can be a boon during the frustrating moments as we find ourselves lost on challenging projects or complex design problems. Sometimes we might also need to face the blunt honesty of an experienced eye telling us that the logo mark we just designed just isn’t cutting it. We might roll our eyes at the time, but in the end, we will always be better for it.

Being mentored can have a far reaching and lasting impact that will challenge us to develop our own processes and unique outlook on design.

Introducing inSpire: Spire’s Mentoring Program

You can ask anyone who has been mentored: it is both a blessed and rewarding process. To have the opportunity to mentor is no different.

Spire has been invested in this conversation from our very beginning. As we continue to grow, we our excited to offer an opportunity for both people looking for design mentors and those who want to mentor to be part of our Pilot Mentorship Program: inSpire.

As part of our efforts, we are currently seeking insight from our readers and members on how you may or may not have benefited from a mentorship process as a designer. What are you looking for in a mentor? What kind of advice are you looking for? What questions have you always wanted someone to answer from the field? Join the conversation in the comment thread below and help us as we prepare to launch inSpire! Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we will have more updates as to what inSpire will look like!