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Walking with Giants: How to find a Mentor


If you observe the animal kingdom, baby animals often walk in the shadow of their parents. They do this for protection and at the same time they are learning survival techniques. Why not adapt the same technique for your career? Find a “professional parent”- a mentor and walk in their shadow for a bit.{{more}}

Obtaining a mentor should not be difficult and the relationship does not always have to be a formal arrangement. In fact, many people seem to shy away from formal mentoring responsibilities because it seems like a tremendous commitment of time and resources. However, these same people are almost always open to answering quick questions. So how do we make it easy to find a mentor?

Mentoring is simply a relationship where you are able to occasionally call, email, or visit with someone who is more knowledgeable than you are in a particular area. Notice I did not say someone who is older. Mentoring is not about age, it is about experience. Anyone one with expertise that you lack qualifies to be a mentor providing that person is willing to share their expertise.

Sometimes, when you are not able to connect with a person directly, why not seek out that expertise from books or even online social media sites. Books hold the same teachings and strategies you will need to succeed in your career. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites are also excellent sources for mentors. These sites give you access to people and groups of experts that you would not ordinarily be exposed to a few years ago and you are able to ask questions directly.

If you are still unable to find a mentor, then seek out an exchange mentorship. It’s a growing trend where two people agree to mentor each other in their respective areas of expertise. One individual might be very good at social media networking and the other person may be very good at managing people. In this scenario, both parties would agree to help each other grow professionally in these areas.

When you find your first mentor, don’t stop there, look for a few more. One person can never give you all the information you need. Seek out mentors for different areas for your professional and even your personal life.

Be kind to your mentors and always thank them graciously for sharing their expertise. For many people, it’s quite an honor to be able to pour into the life of another human being.

Karen Hinds is the “Workplace Success Expert” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on 7 Ways to Develop your Competitive Edge, send an email to Visit online at