Got a Mentor?

Now that you have found your passion (step 1), step 2 in your career plan is to find someone that you look up to in the same field in which you are interested in becoming a subject matter expert.  It is extremely important when you choose your Mentor to remember that these are real people and they can make just as many mistakes as you.  The point here is to emulate their successful behaviors,  not to become a clone.  Be yourself – you need to have your own personality; bring your insights and your thoughts to the table. Do not be your mentors mouthpiece; instead, learn from their positive behaviors in order to do what they do in your own way. 

Often, your mentor will be older than you are since age usually comes with experience.  The pearl of wisdom here is that you need to find someone you can talk to, someone you have a personal connection with;  this doesn’t mean they have to know all the details of your personal life.  

Your mentor needs to be comfortable with providing straightforward, open, honest feedback to you.  Be ready to hear what you can do better, what you are doing well and how you can be more effective. You MUST BE open to the uncomfortable nature of this situation.  If you become defensive when they try to give you feedback, it will shut down your ability to grow and it will stunt the relationship between you and your mentor.  Make no mistake, you are building a relationship with your mentor.  It is your job as the mentee to make these discussions easier for your mentor in order to have honest conversations on your personal growth and in order to move on to step 3 of your career plan.

A leaders learning never ends.

~ by nicolelynnott on August 4, 2010.

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