Let’s do Lunch: An informal chat with Elissa Murphy, VP-Engineering

Elissa at WIT lunchGroup discussion at WIT lunch

Elissa leads the discussion at WIT's Let's Do Lunch event

As a technical writer in the Customer Care department, I don’t often have the chance to ask for career advice from people like Yahoo!’s Vice President of Technology, Elissa Murphy. But that’s just what I was able to do at yesterday’s "Let's Do Lunch" event! Elissa is the executive sponsor of Women in Tech, and she joined us for a lunch where WIT members could ask questions about anything impacting their careers at Yahoo!.

Last year, this was one of our highest-rated events, and by popular demand, we brought Elissa back for a similar, informal chat. Participants sat in a large circle, and brought up a wide range of questions for Elissa -- from how to ask a collegue to be mentor, to what to do if the role you were originally hired for evolves into something different. We didn’t hesitate from asking some tough questions, and Elissa didn’t shrink from answering them.

One of my favorite questions: How you ask someone to be your mentor? That was a question that resonated with me, since I’ve been trying to summon up the bravery to ask a colleague to take me under her wing.

Elissa shared her own experience with this; she once sent a short email that said something along the lines of, “I think you’re great, and I wondered, is your mentee boat full, or can I join it?” That is a rough retelling, but the point is, don’t overthink it! People are motivated to help, and they know it's not easy to ask. For more tips on finding the right mentor -- and issuing the invitation -- see Jezebel's article, How to get and keep a mentor. I'll be reaching out to a potential mentor this week -- and I hope you will too, if you don't have one already.

Thanks, everyone, for bringing great questions to the table at this event. We hope you will join us next time!