Mentors help you advance in work and life. But don’t wait for someone to take you under his wing. Seek out people who can help you. The first step is to figure out which mentor will best meet your needs:
– – The co-mentor. This can be anyone—a colleague, a friend—who needs you as much as you need him. Find a co-mentor if you have a specific skill to learn and something to teach in return.
– – The remote mentor. This is someone outside your organization who can offer objective advice. You may need a remote mentor if you are looking for a fresh perspective and you’ve already exhausted closer resources.
– – The invisible mentor. You don’t have to have a personal relationship with this mentor. You learn from observing and following her example.
Set Goals Before Meeting With Your Mentor
Knowing what you want from a mentoring relationship is critical.
Before you sit down with your mentor for the first time, decide what you hope to learn. Ask yourself what you want in work and life. Which assets will help you get there?
Identify the strengths that will best serve you. Then, honestly examine the roadblocks, challenges, or weaknesses that are slowing you down.
Once you do that you’re ready to articulate your goals and share them with your mentor. Keep it to no more than five goals, so they don’t detract from what your mentor has to offer.
Adapted from Guide to Getting the Mentoring You Need.