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Identify a mentor to help advance your career

Published on Saturday, 03 Jan 2015

If you are looking to advance your career, a mentor can help you to develop a sharper focus on what is needed to grow professionally. 

But how do you find a suitable person willing to offer his or her time to help you get ahead?

I suggest a good place to start is where you work. However, if the options are limited at your company, expanding your search can be a good idea. 

If you are a member of any groups or organisations, you could consider putting the word out to social networks, friends or even family members. 

Before letting people know that you are looking for someone to advise you on your career path, you need to know what your career goals are, how you think a mentor can help, and how often and where you intend to meet. 

Someone who has achieved similar goals to your own and has the time to give to the relationship would make the ideal mentor. You will also need to take the initial step in establishing contact with your mentor, as you will be the one who will benefit the most from the relationship.

Before each meeting, you should prepare questions or think about a subject that you want to cover so that you can use your time constructively. 

It is a good idea to ask your mentor whether he or she has detailed industry knowledge or can arrange for you to participate in meetings or events. 

Your mentor might also be able to introduce you to his or her contacts, which could open doors to new opportunities in the future. 

Having a mentor can help you identify and achieve your career goals, as well as help you to become a better employee. By having more than one mentor, you can gain even broader insights and feedback – so keep developing your networks and contacts. 


Christine Wright is managing director of Hays in Asia 


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