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Why You Should Have a Mentor A Mentor Can Help You Grow Your Career

By Dawn Rosenberg McKay, Guide

The mentor-protégé relationship. It's a concept that originated in Homer's Odyssey. It was even discussed in an episode of Seinfeld. According to many experts, everyone should partake in it. That is anyone who hopes to have a successful career.

The mentor is more experienced than his or her protégé. He or she possesses the wisdom that only experience can provide. The protégé is someone who is looking to move up the career ladder, usually following in the footsteps of the mentor. The relationship benefits both mentor and protégé. The protégé receives guidance and helpful advice. Invitations to industry events and introductions to industry higher-ups may be forthcoming. The mentor benefits from the opportunity to strengthen his or her leadership skills.

Mentoring relationships may be formal or informal. For example many companies have programs for matching new hires with those already established in their jobs. Professional organizations may also have mentoring programs available.
Tips for Finding and Working With a Mentor

    * Choose a mentor whose goals are similar to your own.

    * Find someone who is on the same career path you are.

    * Your mentor should have time to give to this relationship.

    * Take the initial step in establishing contact with a potential mentor since you are the one who will benefit the most from the relationship.

    * You must find the time to participate in the relationship with your mentor.
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