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Mentors can get you off to a good start

Published on Thursday, 30 Jun 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

Finding a mentor  

To find an appropriate mentor, you need to define your reasons for wanting to engage in a mentorship. Your adviser needs to be an experienced professional who understands your objectives and agrees to commit to the relationship over the required time frame.  

Defining goals for the mentorship  

It is important to outline your goals. They should define whether it is for professional guidance throughout the first few months of a new job or for long-term career development. You will then be able to find a mentor who can best meet these requirements. 

Where to search  

Ideally, a mentor should be a senior colleague in your field and be on the career path that you want to take. Through your professional network you can find a co-worker to advise you, but be sure to confirm this arrangement with your manager. You may also seek guidance with certified associations or get recommendations from family and friends. 

Best approach  

If you want to talk about a mentorship with your colleague, take a more casual approach. If you are seeking external guidance, discuss it with him formally. 

Establishing a relationship with your mentor  

After finding a mentor, agree on the details of the mentorship. It is important to discuss how you will both meet your goals, the time it will take to achieve these objectives and how you prefer to communicate with each other.

Jason Hemens, corporate communications manager, Michael Page International

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