Pharos-Tribune

Business

February 23, 2014

ON THE JOB: Do you have a mentor?

Do you have a mentor? Do you know what having a mentor means? If not, you really need to listen up — and get one!

Having a mentor is like having a career coach right by your side — but without the cost. This is someone that you can go to ask career questions, to discuss long-range career planning, to just ask for advice on day-to-day experiences. This is a person that you look up to professionally — a person who might be working right beside you. But if you don’t have someone in your classroom or in your office that serves as that “go-to” person, choosing a mentor can be a tough call.

When looking for a mentor, first think of your goals. Where are you headed? Where do you want to be? In other words, figure out what you want to be when you grow up and find someone who is doing just that. It doesn’t have to be someone who works with you or above you now. It could be a previous supervisor or co-worker, maybe even a professor or advisor you had in college. Just make sure this person is someone you can be comfortable going to whenever you need some career advice.

You may have to do some searching. Once you figure out where you would like to be working or what position you would like to have, research that company or profession. Find someone who matches your criteria and reach out to him or her. Send an email and attach your resume. Ask for a meeting one-on-one where you can pose some questions. Get to know the potential mentor and how he or she got to be in that position. And ask if the person is willing to serve as your career guide.

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