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A mentor is an experienced professional who assists you, the mentee, in developing knowledge and skills that will enhance your personal and professional growth.
Mentors can be found within, or outside of, organizations you work for. Some employers provide mentorship through formal career-focused development and training programs to employees. Depending on what areas you wish to develop, your employer can appropriately match you with a mentor.
Other forms of mentoring exist outside of your workplace environment, with a person(s) you connect with at a work related conference, through a volunteer opportunity, or via social engagement. Mentorship opportunities can also be found using online resources, such as:
Keep in mind that your mentoring experience may be short or long term, depending on what you and mentor agree upon, such as a 6 month company sponsored mentorship program, or a relationship that naturally grows and continues on for many years.
Mentorship can be a great way to help:
Assist you in remaining qualified in your role - a mentor can recommend additional certifications to acquire
Link you to valuable knowledge about your organization’s culture
Provide you with critical feedback in key areas, such as interpersonal relationships, technical abilities, communication, and leadership skills
Develop your focus on what is needed to grow professionally within your organization, company, and industry
When seeking mentorship, be intentional about your mentoring goals. Know what you are looking to gain from the experience. This is key to the relationship being successful.