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How do I go about seeking mentors as a young professional?

I'm a young professional who entered the workforce a little before the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Having worked remotely for a little more than a year now, I realized I haven't developed much face-to-face professional relationships with those with more experience under their belts. #career-counseling #mentors #

How do I go about seeking mentors now that most professionals now are working remotely?

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


3 answers

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Brooke’s Answer

Decide what areas of your professional development you want to concentrate on, or an area of interest that you would like to move your career in. Based on that, meet with your Manager first to let them know what you are interested in, and your interest in getting a mentor. He/She will hopefully point you to meet with people, and then every person you meet, ask who else they would recommend you meet with to continue to build your network. In my experience, you will naturally gravitate and have fluid conversations with people. Of those interactions, pick someone who challenges you, and help you get to the level you aspire to be and ask if they would formally be your mentor. Also, if they are in the same general area as you, and you are comfortable, ask for coffee or lunch with them!

Lastly, depending on your organization, they will have Employee Resource Groups, volunteer teams, or culture events that you can participate in and that will help connect you with like minded/similar interests and you will build connections/mentors from that.

Brooke recommends the following next steps:

Meet with your Manager to let them know areas of interest for career/mentor
Meet with 1 person, and ask for someone new to meet with after each interaction
Aim for 1 new meeting/ 1:1 per week to help build your network
Ask the person that you relate to/ get the most out of the conversation to formally be your mentor.
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Sophie’s Answer

Firstly it is important to spend some time thinking about what you want out of your mentorship and areas that you would like to concentrate on for development. Once you have these identified there may be numerous avenues you can explore. Suggest speaking with your line manager with the outline of the key areas you would like a mentor to help you build out and your line manager may be able to suggest the best people for you to reach out to within your organization or possibly even external mentors. Even your manager themselves could be a great resource to ensure that you are supported in your development, especially if you already have a good idea of key areas of focus for yourself. In a world of remote working, face to face meetings on a virtual platform can be very productive.

Another avenue would be with your HR team who may be able to direct you to any available employee resource groups as there may be mentorship programs already set up that you can join. Your direct team members can also be great resources in terms of directing you to potential mentors or even agreeing to be your mentor as I am sure they would have valuable experience to share.
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Frank’s Answer

Hi Jimmy

I do a fair amount of mentoring so here are some thoughts based on my experience:
*Make a list of people you admire/respect that you think can provide value to you in a mentoring relationship
* Make a list of the topics you want to talk to your mentor about; share them with him/her early
*Be upfront and clear with your mentor about your willingness to listen to feedback and your goals/objectives
*Find someone you believe you can establish a relationship of trust/confidentiality
* If the mentor you choose is in your company, find someone outside of your performance review chain so candor will be easier
* Make sure you and your mentor are invested/committed to this relationship
*Establish the frequency and timing of your meetings
*Establish a length of time and end date for the engagement