Building a relationship with a reliable mentor is crucial to your success. When approaching someone to aid in your professional development keep the following in mind to ensure a productive relationship:
1. Identify which aspects of your professional life you would like to further develop.
Your mentor should possess expertise in your areas of weakness so that you can get the most out of this learning experience. For instance, if you do not feel that you are an effective speaker, select a mentor who is confident and compelling when giving presentations so that they can help you develop these skills.
2. Select a mentor who you can openly communicate with.
Your mentor’s personality should complement your own. Make sure that you feel comfortable discussing your progress, difficulties, and goals with him or her. Your mentor should be someone who is readily available and willing to offer support and constructive criticism.
3. Build a network of mentors.
Having mentors with experience and expertise in different areas is beneficial to the learning process. Also, some may be within your workplace and available on a regular basis while others you only reach out to when you have a specific question or issue to work through. Having multiple mentors ensures that you develop yourself in many areas and are respectful of the amount of time your mentors can spend with you without overtaxing them.
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