The Benefits of Having a Professional Mentor

December 5, 2011

by: Shonda Y. Lewis, Owner and President – Ridgeway Lewis Consulting
from: WEOP (Women’s Employment Opportunity Project)

If you are looking to advance your career, it is absolutely essential to seek the guidance and help of a mentor: a suitably experienced person with whom you can discuss your career goals, obstacles, and generally work with to solicit confidential guidance and direction on the best course of action to take.

Your mentor should be someone who possesses the appropriate level of wisdom, expertise, and professional success that you also seek. They can be someone you know or someone that would be beneficial to get to know. Their role is to challenge and support you but not simply tell you what to do. The goals of the mentoring relationship should be stated up front so that everyone stays on task. The time span for the mentoring relationship can be generally short (less than 6 months) or long. A good mentor will want to ensure that you gain confidence and independence as a result of mentoring, and that you are empowered to take full and effective responsibility for your own development over the next career stage. 

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