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Get yourself a mentor

Want to get ahead in your career? Then get a mentor – someone who’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt to prove it. Identify someone in your target job and ask him or her if s/he will be your mentor.

How does mentoring work?

You meet with your chosen person on a regular basis – say, once a month. Agree with him/her at the outset what you want from the arrangement, the frequency and location of your meeting. It is helpful to set yourself some goals for the duration of the mentoring, so that you and the mentor have something to focus on when you meet, rather than general chitchat.

What’s in it for the mentor?

Usually people are very willing to answer your questions and offer you advice if you ask for it. Leaders get a buzz from being asked and also seeing the people they have mentored progressing into more challenging roles. Your mentor may even find an opportunity for you to join his/her team if you demonstrate the skills and attitudes they are seeking.

What’s in it for you?

Learning from the experience of someone who is already in the job you want. You are developing a relationship with a senior person who could be your champion when opportunities come up, provided they have gained a good opinion of you during the mentoring relationship. The more allies you have at a senior level, the better it will be for you and your career?

So who will you choose to approach now?


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