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Mentor Madness

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Mentor Madness
How to Find a Mentor

Every career expert says mentors are the best tool in the career climbing game. But how do you get one? What do you say? What should you expect? Fear not. We’ve got 5 tips for mentor success.
 


      

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Mentor Madness
How to Find a Mentor

Every career expert says mentors are the best tool in the career climbing game. But how do you get one? What do you say? What should you expect? Fear not. We’ve got 5 tips for mentor success.

So you know you need a mentor, but how can you go about getting one? Well, the first thing you need to do is get rid of any old school ideas of a mentor as an aged, wise sage that is going to take you under her wing as a protégé and escort you on a magic carpet ride to the CEO suite.  Mentor-mentee relationships take work, and like any relationship, a little give and take.  Here are some rules of the road:

1. Don’t be scurred. You can’t be shy about pursuing a mentor relationship. It takes a lot of homework and persistence. But be careful not to cross over into the annoying zone. It can be tricky.  Send emails, letters and call. But don’t stalk. Do your research to try to find any common ground, whether its college, hobbies or their hometown. If you have no personal connection, use a news hook. Mention a relevant recent article and email the person saying the article reminded them of something they said or did recently.

2. Expect constructive criticism. And don’t make it all about you all the time. Try to present things so the potential mentor sees that you take a keen interest in what they think.

3. Don’t expect a mentor to be there for every crisis or dilemma. Be selective about when you call on her for crisis intervention. This way you won’t just seem like a drama queen.

4. Don’t whine or complain about office politics or other trivial issues on a regular basis. Be sure to temper the negative with the positive. Nobody likes a sour puss.

5. Be proactive about setting up meetings and scheduling reviews. Don’t just wait on them. You want to show that you value their time and are equally invested in the relationship.