Vincy Workplace
March 16, 2007
Finding a good mentor

Imagine being able to cut your learning curve in half, having an advocate who can be honest with you about your professional growth. Imagine a person who is able to see your hidden talents and direct you to better positions, companies, projects and connect you with the right people at the right time.

That the power of a good mentor. No doubt you need a mentor. There is no rule that says you can have only one mentor. In fact, it will be to your advantage to have a few mentor type relationships that can help you grow in different areas of your professional life but how do you find a good mentor?{{more}}

Before you start your search for a mentor considering the following guidelines.

1. Be very clear about why you want a mentor. Write down all the reasons you need a mentor and be able to articulate them later.

2. Describe who your ideal person will be. Take into consideration their experience, qualifications and current position. Make a list of those qualities.

3. Once you are clear of the attributes of a potential mentor, make a list of prospects who might fit your criteria. We all would like a high profile mentor but sometimes the best mentors are the ones that are not high profile as they have time to guide you and may have deeper connections and knowledge on certain issues that could prove to be invaluable to you. Don’t get star struck.

4. Begin by talking to a few trusted colleagues and tell them you are searching for a mentor. If you see someone you think might fit your description of the ideal person invite them to lunch or schedule an informational interview.

5. During your meeting ask that person if it’s acceptable for you to call on them occasional for advice as a mentor. Most people would say yes but if you find that person sounding hesitant, it could be that they are not interested or their time will not permit another commitment. Don’t take it personally. If they say yes, great, if not be gracious, thank them for their time and move on to the next person on your list. Be patient, it will take time.

• Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group, Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)