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Mentors and Mentoring

Mentors are essential in guiding and supporting us into becoming the best people we can be—professionally and personally. It’s a process of discovery and takes effort from both mentor and mentee. Here are some tips on cultivating effective mentoring relationships, and on being an effective mentor yourself.

The Mentoring Relationship
• Mentoring relationships develop over time—they’re an investment!
• A mentor is different than an advisor or a personal hero. A mentor is genuinely interested and invested in you.
• Being invested in you, and your long-term professional development and success, means the mentor can guide you toward the path that makes sense for you (not create a “mini-me”).
• Different mentors may play different roles in your life. They may act as one or all of the following: a guide, counselor, advisor, consultant, tutor, teacher, role model. Gathering together a team of mentors is an effective strategy to getting a variety of your needs met.
• Everyone is different. The more you know about your goals, needs and passions, and the more openly you can share these with your mentor, the better they can support you.
• How do you know if you have found a great mentor? A good place to begin is to ask yourself: Are they open, approachable and caring? Do they engage with you in ongoing conversation? Demystify the job/company for you? Provide constructive and supportive feedback? Provide encouragement? Foster networking and seeking out multiple mentors? Look out for your interests? Treat you with respect?
• Just getting started? Or haven’t found the right fit yet? (See point number one above!) Don’t give up, it’s worth it. Have “informational interviews” to find out more about the mentor’s work and their approach to work and leadership. These conversations will create a spark (or not) and you’ll know which relationships to invest more time in.
• Mentors can come from all directions. Peers can be great mentors for each other as well as family and people in industry circles.
• You, too, can be a mentor to others. Being able to give in both directions is the best way to learn and grow.

Categories: Career
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