The New York Times

Why Mentoring Matters, and How to Get Started

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

My first desk had an inert hand grenade in one corner and a notebook in another.

As a public relations assistant to Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk at the time, my job was to make the office (and by extension, Ms. Hochul) look good. The grenade reminded me that it took decisive confidence to do that well. And the notebook contained advice on how to develop that, much of which I’m still learning.

When Ms. Hochul gave me my first real job, she also taught me how to function in an office. She coached me on how to make myself heard in a roomful of . As I leaned over her shoulder, she edited the materials I wrote for her, honing and sharpening my voice. And when I left her congressional campaign before

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min read
Lessons on Living From My 106-Year-Old Aunt Doris
My Aunt Doris recently passed away, exactly two weeks before her birthday. She would have been 107. I have been involved in health care for my entire professional life, as a hospital executive, consultant and professor of health care management. But
The New York Times4 min read
Recordings by Elton John, Nirvana and Thousands More Lost in Fire
Eleven years ago this month, a fire ripped through a part of Universal Studios Hollywood. At the time, the company said that the blaze had destroyed the theme park’s “King Kong” attraction and a video vault that contained only copies of old works. Bu
The New York Times6 min read
Practical Ways to Improve Your Confidence (and Why You Should)
Self-confidence is a bit like the running water in your house. You may not know every detail about how it works or where it comes from, but it’s painfully obvious when it’s not there. Like when your water is shut off, a dearth of self-confidence has