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Wed 8 April 2020
Seeking a mentor in your job, whether it is your first job out of college or the last stop on your career path, choosing the right person can be critical to enjoying a successful time with that company, but also achieving your personal and professional goals. A mentor can be someone who you work directly for, someone you work alongside or even someone who has little bearing on your path but is someone you view with a level of respect for their thoughts and views. A mentor does not have to write your reviews and control your future with the company but should be someone who helps you take control of your own future.

When searching for a mentor, many people look for someone who can and will be able to directly lead them to a higher salary, a desired job title, or the opportunity to lead a project or team. But these are not the things that truly drive a mentor-mentee relationship. Look for someone who will challenge your ideas, always ask to you produce effective solutions to problems and will not let you do anything less than your best. The right mentor will also help you recognize areas you can improve in way that allows you to learn from mistakes or less than ideal turnouts without making you feel as if you failed. A true mentor bases the success of the relationship on you hitting your end goals, goals you have chose for yourself, not ones they have set for you. Don’t grab onto the first person in your new job when you start and ask them to be your mentor; instead, probe around the people near you to find someone that is going to be your biggest advocate for your success.

Last, do not be afraid to move on from a mentor as you transition through your career because each will have their own expiration date as you grow. They do not have to leave your life entirely but may just fold to the background. Eventually you will become the mentor for someone else further down your career path and remember these lessons as crucial to success because they will be the same drivers that guide that relationship, just in reverse.

Mentorship can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a career path, both as a mentor and a mentee, and choosing correctly is a hard, but worthwhile decision to make.
Wed 1 April 2020
Have you ever been in that unique situation? You know the one to which I am referring! You have made a secret decision to go back and further your education, even with your crazy schedule, never thinking you would get accepted! That day comes and you open your email to the words… “Congratulations on your Acceptance into Graduate School!” It is at that moment you wish to have a mentor. Someone who can encourage you, take you under their wing and help you learn new skills.

Mentors can help mentees in several different ways. First off, they can reach out and connect with them because they were on that same path only earlier (furthering their education). They may be in their classes at school and encourage them in a subject in which they are struggling. Secondly, they can reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn; helping them build and/or strengthen their resume and helping them build their network by introducing them to other professionals in the network or tagging them in various posts/events to bring the spotlight on the mentee. 

A major advantage to having a mentor is by helping the mentee in preparing for job interviews by giving mock interviews, helping them nail that interview, improving their interviewing skills, gaining confidence, and giving tips which might mean the difference between a job offer or not.  Mentors can also give emotional as well as professional support.  Many times, even with the best education, grades, and training, professional job offers are difficult to obtain.   For an individual to excel in graduate school and still not be able to acquire that coveted position can be devastating.  Too many “we have decided to move in a different direction…” type letters can cause the newly graduate student or current “almost graduated graduate student,” to rethink their career path and all those student loans.  Mentors have been there, done that, and many times have answers for those questions that are extremely difficult to answer.  

Lastly, a mentor can be a friend.  Someone to answer the tough questions, “am I in the right field,” “am I not dressing appropriately,” “am I too eager,”  all good questions, real feelings, and many times, only a friend can help give that necessary answer.  Mentorship is an important part of today’s professional and academic community – it takes time, commitment and a giving of oneself, but in the end, it is well worth the investment.

Always remember “What it is like on the other side of the desk.”
Wed 25 March 2020
Let’s first define what is a mentor. “Mentors focus on providing you sage advice and wisdom gathered through experience and knowledge when you ask for their insight.  Mentors can be considered a library of human knowledge in the particular areas of life they have gained expertise.  Mentors normally focus on providing knowledge, understanding and direction, but have been known to help in your improvement as a person when you allow yourself to become the subject.”

Everyone should have a mentor whether it is professional or personal reasons.  A mentor is someone you can trust and build rapport with because this person will be there for you through the good and bad times.  Encouraging and inspiring along the way, is why a mentor is often confused with a coach.  A coach is different from a mentor in a sense that coaches are not supposed to offer advice as to what a person should be doing.  Coaching concentrates on the person implementing the best strategies to achieve their desired goals.  

The majority of mentor’s volunteer their time and are unpaid when asked to render guidance.  Some benefits to having a mentor is listed below:

  1. Support and encouragement 
  2. Inspiration and guidance
  3. Improve social skills
  4. Career and professional advice
  5. Spiritual advice

My mentor is someone who I met a few years ago after signing up for the mentor/mentee program at our church.  My mentor is someone who has helped me to grow in my business and to expand my career. By having a mentor who is also a business owner like myself, she provides reliable advice to me when making challenging decisions.  I value her opinion and look forward to our daily conversations.  My mentor is someone that I can trust and share my concerns about anything, and I know the advice given to me will be in my best interest. My mentor has encouraged me to do things that I normally would not have had the courage to do if it wasn’t for her believing in me. The experiences and knowledge that she shares with me helps to shape me into a better business leader, mother, and wife. I have learned so much from her over the past 2 years. 

If interested in having a mentor, make sure you are honest with yourself as well as your mentor. The relationship only works if honesty and transparency is at the core.  It is difficult for someone to provide guidance and advice to anyone if the relationship is built on dishonesty.  Also, make a list of what you are looking for in a mentor so when an opportunity to work with a mentor arises, you will know what qualities to seek.  The benefits are unlimited when working with a mentor who understands you both professionally and personally.  Having a mentor to confide in and receiving valuable advice from them is priceless. The opportunity to have a mentor in my life was one of the best decisions I could have made. 
Wed 18 March 2020
“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt


The best way to gain insight into what one’s future career aspirations hope to be is to have a true conversation with someone already established within that field of interest.  Mentees receive a huge benefit from partnering alongside a well-seasoned professional to pick their brains.  Asking a ton of questions around the “why’s” or “how’s” can really open a person’s eyes to where they want to go in life.  

Unfortunately, sometimes this task can be challenging because of the lack of direction there is readily available to young people or individuals looking to shift careers.  Although we would like to see everyone as having sound advice, this is not always the case.  Asking questions of dearly loved or trusted people in our life may seem like the correct step in making good choices around career moves; however, sometimes their advice may not be sufficient.  Though not intentional, friends and family may believe they are offering their real-world experience correctly, but they lack clear direction in the delivery of said experience.

This is why mentees seeking out career-driven individuals can greatly benefit from their streamline, world experience.  Here they are matched up with someone who can give clear direction on what they feel the right steps for that individual should be.  Oftentimes, for people who are well established, they reflect on their past and review areas in their professional journey where they wish they had shifted gears.  Although they do not cry over their spilt milk, experienced professionals sometimes long for that moment when they could have benefited greatly from someone telling them which direction they should have turned or which path they might have chosen against.  Though they are well-established, the experienced individual may look back and say “I have made it, but if only this or that would have happened sooner…” 

Once presented with someone new and fresh to the game, they may feel that this is their chance to shed light on the potential career path ahead.  People like to know their opinions are valued, and to be given the chance to submit their ideas to someone who truly cares about their experience, will enhance what is being communicated.  This will amplify the relationship between the mentor and the mentee and will ensure levels of success from both ends. 
Wed 4 March 2020
It is a collaboration between mentor and mentee who works together to identify goals that are specific to the individual’s role and aligned to corporate objectives.  The mentor should be supportive and listen to the ideas of the mentee.  This is critical as it guarantees that mentee will know “what is expected of me”, which is another key drive of engagement and performance.  It also frames the conversation in a meaningful way.  Are the goals on track or not?  Why? What can the individual do to improve?  What can others do to support?  If the performance or behavior under question does not change, the mentor needs to remind the mentee of the goal and hole him/her accountable.  Mentor set priorities and had ability to work toward stated as success could be defined as a progressive realization of a predetermined goal.  Mentor amplified limited power by empowering mentee to take on shared challenges, seeking to surround with the most talented people representing a wide range of skills that could be helpful in achieving the goals.  Mentor in collaboration with mentee helps to set goals, to move forward these goals, and to advice on what course of action mentee should take.  Furthermore, mentor coaches mentee to build the processes necessary to collaborate on a strategy on how to best implement the project.

Mentoring is a long-term commitment with a broader range; include guidance toward professional education and career choices.

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