Mentoring (see also Advisor/advisee relationships)
Finding a good mentor may make or break your academic career. Mentors give feedback on one’s intellectual work. They soothe bruised egos after one’s scholarship has been rejected by a publisher. Mentors encourage you to “revise and resubmit” a rejected article. They put underhanded, mean comments of senior and junior colleagues into context. Mentors point out the small print in the faculty handbook and give tips for preparing one’s tenure file. Mentors cut to the chase of campus politics and help you find allies, avoid enemies, and create a network of colleagues beyond the institution. Mentors give inside information about comparative salary structures and benefits packages and help you (re)negotiate your contract. Mentors prevent you from going crazy by pointing out the inconsistencies, contradictions, and double binds of academic life.