Mary Lou Burke Afonso, the COO of North American Center Operations at Bright Horizons Family Solutions has 3 tips professionals should heed before they get themselves a mentor.
1. Identify what exactly it is you are after in a mentor.
What do you want out of this relationship? What are you trying to accomplish (short-term and long-term)? Who do you think can tick the necessary mentor boxes?
An open, honest person is needed, somebody who doesn’t hesitate to provide the feedback needed and offers support as you grow.
2. Consider taking on more than just one mentor.
Why not pin-point a few mentor candidates you might approach. Garnering insight from different individuals will provide you with invaluable insights from differing perspectives.
You’ll benefit from learning a diverse range of approaches to management, work/life balance, professional growth and more. From there you can cherry-pick and adapt the approaches you find best and most suited to your professional style and personality.
3. Figure out how you’ll measure success.
Arming yourself with a mentor does not mean that suddenly you’re guaranteed to hurtle full-throttle, down the path to career success in a mere few months, suddenly vaulting from the lower rungs to the top echelons at light speed. Be realistic.
Before you decide to find a mentor, you must make sure your expectations for measuring the success of your relationship are reasonable and sensible.
What does success look like to you? Jot down a list of goals you expect to have fulfilled by the 1 year, or 2 year mark.