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How to deal with a mentor ghosting you?

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Software Engineer at Taro Community20 days ago

Last year I was invited to an event at a Big Tech office and saw a few talks.

After the talks I ended up chatting briefly to one of the Big Tech speakers about certain aspects of their talk that resonated with me.

A few weeks after the event I had a meeting with one of the recruiters (you could submit your interest to have one reach out to you) and you could seek official mentoring from one of the employees.

I asked if it'd be possible for that person above to be my mentor and they said they'd arrange it if possible.

I got an email officially introducing me but they'd be busy for X amount of time.

After X amount of I time I reached out to them, no answer.

It's been many months and have tried to reach out to them sporadically between that time but have never gotten a response both via email & LinkedIn.

I'm not too bothered now but do still question why?



  • 5
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    20 days ago

    Not much you can do, unfortunately.

    As a mentee, you provide less value in the relationship than the mentor. This power imbalance means that you have little leverage to re-engage if they ghost you.

    • If you have mutual connections (someone who works with them), you could try that route to get an answer from them.
    • Instead of relying on one mentor, you should cultivate relationships with several people.
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    20 days ago

    Honestly, it seems like that recruiter was making something up to look good. Big Tech engineers are extremely busy, and in this market, execs are pushing each and every employee to work even harder and be protective of their time. I'm sorry they gave you false hope.

    As Rahul mentioned, finding a mentor is really hard as the relationship is inherently 1-sided. What usually happens is the reverse: The mentor selects the mentee. Your goal then as a prospective mentee is to make yourself look like a good investment for a strong mentor's time. Check out this thread to learn how to do that: "How does one attract a sponsor who is invested in their growth?"

    In parallel, I recommend finding peers as that's much more feasible. Taro Networking can help there: https://www.jointaro.com/networking/

  • 1
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Brex
    17 days ago

    As Rahul and Alex pointed, with the push for efficiency across most of the big tech companies, I think an engineer from a big tech is just too busy to handle mentorship relationships outside of work or close relative.

    Also, some other tips when you're trying to pursuit a good mentorship: instead of asking someone to be your mentor, come directly with the questions you're looking for answers. Be specific. Don't ask for someone to be your mentor directly, instead talk about things you want to know that the mentor has knowledge of.

    My last mentor at Brex was an engineering manager, which meant she had a different world view from mine as an IC. I leveraged that by asking really specific stuff about what managers are looking for in ICs when indicating people for promotions. Since she wasn't my direct manager, I believe she could provide a different perspective from my manager.

    And I could also provide my honest view on whatever initiative she was looking to bring into her team. And because of that, our mentorship was incredibly productive, since I was always ready with specific subjects, and could also add some value to her as well.

    For me, that was the perfect mentorship. Someone that can help me with my questions by adding their own personal experiences, and I that I could help sometimes as well.