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Finding Your Best Professional Mentor

by May 12, 2020

During the slower moments at work offered up by our current unprecedented circumstances, you’ve likely had ample time to consider the professional steps you’d like to take next. And that’s a journey you don’t have to take by yourself! In seeking to advance your career, a key step is seeking out guidance–or, finding yourself a workplace mentor. The advice we’ve assembled from the pros below provides surefire ways to both determine the best mentor for you and then ask them to provide you with professional guidance. 


Anjuli Sastry at NPR provides a question to consider when figuring out how to find a mentor who will be a perfect fit: “Who do you look up to? Whose job would you like to have in the next 5, 10 or 15 years? Is this person inside or outside your workplace? Who is your immediate role model where you work? Keep a running list of the jobs and people you are visualizing. Consider an identity-based mentor in your organization, especially if you need to talk about issues you’re facing as an underrepresented person in your professional surroundings.” Finding someone who’s encountered similar struggles and prevailed in the face of them is an important component in determining who should be your mentor. It’s okay to seek out a mentor who’s had to overcome obstacles akin to your own as they will also likely be someone who can best use your shared experiences to figure out how to let your unique strengths shine. 


Once you’ve found the right potential mentor for you, check out this tip from Alan Henry at Lifehacker about how to make your mentee dreams a reality: “Be ready to explain what you want to get out of the mentorship, why you want the person you’re asking to be your mentor, and why you want a mentor in the first place. You don’t have to stroke the other person’s ego, but you should explain that you know who they are and you value their expertise. Let them know that their career mirrors your would-be career path, and you think you could learn a lot from them. If you can, share a story they would resonate with—or a story of theirs you already know and what you learned from it.” Before you ask someone to be your mentor, make sure you’ve done your homework! Know who they are, what they’ve done, why they would be the best possible fit for you—and be prepared to articulate your reasoning. Demonstrating that you’ve invested time and effort into making this the best possible mentor-mentee relationship it could be will enable any would-be mentor to view you as a proactive, committed mentee right from the start.


Let yourself imagine the part you want to play in your overall organization’s development as well as your personal development; taking time now to consider your professional evolution while work is slower will pay off in the long run once the pace of your professional environment has picked back up. And remember that you’re not in this alone! Asking for the guidance of a mentor is a phenomenal way to connect to your workplace community while preparing you to one day serve as a mentor to your company’s newcomers. Check back again tomorrow for our latest round of Wednesday Wellness offerings.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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