Friday, January 9, 2009

Who is a mentor?

Traditionally, it has been believed that a mentor should be someone with influence in your industry or a senior individual who is willing to open their network (and good name) to you.

This raises several assumptions:
• that a mentor is someone very senior
• that a mentor is only for the particular tasks found within your industry
• that the issues you face in your career are particular to your company or industry
• that your skills and ambition lie in only one industry

There’s no right or wrong answer but it’s part of the choices you have to make for yourself.
• Do you want mentoring around a specific industry?
• Do you want mentoring from a different industry perspective?
• Are you comfortable looking outward for guidance as much as ‘up’? (peers can be as valuable a tool for the ambitious as a very senior person)

Don’t let any of the questions stop you from starting to get advice. You won’t just have one mentor in your life so you don’t have to start with your perfect scenario.

Don't assume you aren't ready to mentor at any stop on your own path. Your experience and perspective are valuable all along the way!

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