Over the weekend, I received an email requesting more information so I can be matched with a CGOA mentor, as I requested. I believe in mentor programs, as there are many positive outcomes from such relationships.
Think of having a one on one professional relationship with someone in your desired field. Asking questions provides a wealth of information, and direction. You find out about things you didn't even realize you didn't know, thus leading to more questions. This perpetual motion allows growth of both the mentee and mentor.
A mentor is not there to do any work for you - hire a pattern editor or pattern tester to help fix your designs. You are expected to have already done significant research on where you can obtain the tools for your chosen career. For example, many of the crochet magazines have the designer guidelines and editorial calendars on their websites. If you want to be a designer, you are expected to have already found and downloaded this information. You should already have a list of websites you reference for stitch directories and the like.
You might wonder, if I have all that information, what do I need a mentor for? Well, are magazines the only place you can sell your designs? Someone created the free patterns that hang off the shelf by the yarn at the store. Someone had to publish the latest pattern book. Someone wrote that adorable pattern in the binder at the yarn store. A mentor can provide the information you seek to create your own road map to a successful career. They are industry insiders who created their own careers.
Why should anyone want to mentor? Crochet is an art form, and each individual has their own style. This uniqueness benefits the entire industry. Having mentored a teen for a high school course, I can say with certainty that a mentor feels good about what they do and applauds the successes of their mentee.
Mentoring is a wonderful program that challenges both individuals involved in it. A mentee may ask a question the mentor doesn't know the answer for, but knows who to contact to find out. This means that both of them learn something new.
I'm looking forward to being matched with a mentor!