Is there a Mentor at your Work?

When found, mentors challenge your thinking and ideas; they help you avoid mistakes and, if desired, can provide career guid- ance that will allow you to better define and achieve your goals.It’s not an easy quest, but here are some steps to take to find and keep that great workplace mentor relationship.

  1. Be mentor-worthy. Many times a mentor will find you if you work hard and possess the qualities and characteristics of what it takes to be successful.
  2. Clearly identify where you need help. Mentors have their areas of expertise so identify and research those individuals who can best help you.
  3. Approach people who are known for being honest, forward thinking and transparent. Make sure their values align with your own.
  4. Reach out. Explain yourself and identify why you are approaching him or her to help you with your professional life and career.
  5. Be clear about the outcomes you seek and the time commitment desired or expected. Remember, the person you approach may just be too busy. Mentors will make room if they think their time will be well spent.
  6. Diversify. Choose mentors with different perspectives, targeting mentors with different backgrounds and experiences that can help with multiple aspects of your career.
  7. Ask plenty of questions and practice the art of listening.
  8. Reciprocate by offering something back such as a lunch or dinner. Or just ask what they would appreciate in return.
  9. Be proactive and ask for feedback—whether it’s positive or negative. It may be difficult to hear, but it can make you a better professional.
  10. Allow the relationship to grow. Tense, forced relationships never work out and are much better if they evolve organically.
  11. Look at those inside your circle of work relationships for possible candidates, such as your peers. And consider looking outside as well.
  12. And finally, if you think you could or would like to be a mentor, then make it known as well. Offer help.

This Article was originally published in the Summer 2017 Issue of Office Today Magazine