How to Start the Search for a Mentor

Finding mentors and establishing strong working relationships with them can be an incredibly valuable part of your career development. Mentors can take all shapes and sizes – they could be your supervisor, a friend, a person who works in your dream field, a former teacher, or an unlikely connection. They can help coach, challenge, and widen your knowledge of the possibilities that exist. So how do you get started with a mentor?

In her article, “4 Tips For Finding Great Career Mentors,” Lisa Quast shares her practical advice for finding mentors.

Clarify what you want. Articulate expectations for your career and your mentor relationship.
Think outside your cubicle and don’t restrict yourself. Get creative as you seek out potential mentors.
Set up a meeting. Let them know you’d like to talk about a possible mentorship relationship.
Be clear with your mentor. Start out on positive footing. Ensure that you are both on the same page regarding expectations, how much time you’ll each be investing, and topics for discussion.

You may find that having multiple mentors is beneficial because they can offer you varied perspectives and bring different expertise to the discussion. Be intentional about reaching out for advice and professional development. You won’t regret it.

Liz Hine is a recruiter for the Center for Shared ServicesThis post was originally posted on the CSS Blog on February 7, 2013:

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