Movies would have us believe that finding a mentor in your career is a magical moment when the stars align and angels sing. Here’s the reality; it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you need to seek out a mentor or even multiple mentors.
You can benefit from multiple relationships with a variety of people. You should seek out a mentor based on what you can glean from the relationship, not necessarily by the person’s job title or status within the company. A lot can be learned from someone slightly ahead of you in their career development. Even a peer may have a different perspective that can add to your knowledge base. Choose wisely and often!
When you begin any mentoring relationship, identify what your hope to gain from the interaction. Be realistic in your expectations for both you and your mentor. Clearly defined timelines and methods of communication are also critical. With clear guidelines, you can assure you are getting the most from the time you are investing in the relationship.
Having someone that can give you objective career advice is priceless. On your career path, having a mentor or mentors, can be magical --even if it doesn’t always happen by some organic process.