Desperately Seeking Mentor
A mentor can be your single biggest career boost. Not only
can she share her wisdom, she can also put you in touch with
the movers and shakers in your business, helping you advance
your career more quickly. Some natural places to find a mentor
include your network of friends and business acquaintances,
professional organizations, and your current place of work.
Set your sights on an experienced, well-respected individual--someone
whose style and values you admire and whom you would like
Occasionally a mentor will adopt you without
any effort on your part. It is more common, however, that
you will have to make the first move.
If you dont know the person, start by introducing yourself.
Dont overwhelm her or ask for too big a commitment--a
lunch invitation is a great opening. Similar to setting up
interview, explain that youre looking for guidance
in your field and that youd like to take her to lunch
to get her advice and input. If she declines, let it go. Its
nothing personal. If she accepts, get prepared.
This may be the beginning of a long relationship or it may
be the only time you have this persons valuable and
undivided attention. Either way, you want to take maximum
advantage. Come to your meeting prepared with a list of questions
and concerns on which youd like her input. At the end
of the meeting, ask if you can keep in contact. Again, if
she politely refuses, you must respect her decision without
pressing. If she agrees, ask how to contact her in the future
(e-mail, phone, etc.) and thank her for her time and generosity.