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Finding A Mentor Is Easier Than You Think

Jan 6 2014, 4:26am CST | by , in News

Finding A Mentor Is Easier Than You Think
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 
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Finding A Mentor Is Easier Than You Think

January is National Mentoring Month, so I decided focus this blog on ways to find career mentors. Finding career mentors may actually be easier than you think, but asking someone you don’t know to be your mentor can be intimidating.

Overcome your jitters by following these tips:

Clarify what you want. Before seeking out mentors, write down your specific expectations and the role you want mentors to play in your career. Do you want someone who can help your stalled networking attempts, assist you in learning more about a certain industry or provide guidance on how to be a successful entrepreneur? Clarifying your expectations, goals and objectives will ensure that you find the right mentors and that the relationships benefit your professional goals.

Think outside your cubicle and don’t restrict yourself. Great mentors can be found in a variety of places, so try looking outside your current workplace. Seek out mentors at business and women’s associations in your area, non-profit organizations, your college or university, within your family, church groups, even community groups such as business chambers of commerce.

Set up a meeting. Once you’ve identified a potential mentor, ask to meet and discuss a possible mentoring relationship. Asking for mentoring is an important step to make certain you’re both clear on the terms. This meeting should take place somewhere that is mutually comfortable and where you can speak in confidence.

Be clear with your mentor. Once you’ve found someone who agrees to be your mentor, make sure you share the same commitment to your expectations. Be clear on the time required and the availability of your mentor, and establish a regular meeting schedule with topics you’d like to discuss.

Here are a few resources to get you started on the path to finding a mentor:

MicroMentor. Free online mentor service that connects small business owners with business mentors. You can find a mentor or volunteer to be one. Their mission statement: “To help small businesses grow faster, generate more revenue, and employ more people.”

SCORE Mentoring. Provides access to volunteer business counselors. SCORE is focused on helping grow small businesses and provides “Volunteer mentors who share their expertise across 62 industries.”

ACE Mentor Program. Introduces high school students to job opportunities in the architecture, construction and engineering industries.

TiE Global. Founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. Helps new entrepreneurs find mentors. Membership fee required.

Mamas (Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association). Many associations also provide mentoring help to members. This program empowers attorney mothers and encourages them to succeed while celebrating their roles as attorneys and mothers.

~ Lisa Quast, author of the award-winning book, YOUR CAREER, YOUR WAY!

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Photo credit: Courtesy of the University of Washington

Source: Forbes

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