Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
July 28, 2010
Issue #14

Do you want to be more successful?  Find a mentor!

Studies consistently show that one of the best ways to propel your career forward is to find someone to help guide you.  Here are my 6 "DON'TS" to getting started with a great mentor relationship:
  1. Don't delete this email because you don't think it applies to you.
    Mentors are valuable whether you are just starting out in your career or you are a seasoned and accomplished professional.  We all grow faster with the guidance of others.

  2. Don't forget to give serious thought to what you want from this relationship.
    It's a given that you want your mentor to be someone you respect and admire, but you also want someone who can help you with specific goals (i.e. help getting promoted, gaining industry expertise, navigating a male-dominated field, etc.).  No mentor will meet all of your needs, but it's important that they have the strengths necessary to support your professional priorities.

  3. Don't choose a close friend (or someone else who won't give you honest feedback).
    The most successful professional won't be of much help to you if they can't candidly tell you what skills you need to develop or how you might have handled a situation differently. 

  4. Don't hesitate to look outside your organization.
    While there are great advantages to having a mentor who understands your company culture, sometimes the best fit is someone outside your organization.  Consider everyone in your network including former colleagues, LinkedIn connections and people you know from professional associations.

  5. Don't just ASK someone to be your mentor.
    After you've spent some time considering what will make this relationship valuable to you, schedule a coffee or short meeting with the person you would like to be your mentor. Mentor/mentee relationships tend to develop naturally over time.

  6. Don't forget to make it a two-way street.
    The best mentor/mentee relationships are those which are mutually beneficial.  Keep your expectations reasonable in terms of the time and energy your mentor can provide, and find opportunities where you can be a resource and support as well.

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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