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Find Mentors and Mentees

by Jobs 4 Grads Now

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Successful people know they can’t be their best unless they have a good coach in their corner. Mentoring, a lifelong process of giving and receiving as both master and apprentice, ¬has always been the Holy Grail for those who love to connect people with people. No process in history has done more to facilitate the exchange of information, skills, wisdom and contacts.

By studying those who know more than we do, we expand our horizons. Research has confirmed that whom you associate with is crucial to who you become. If you spend time with successful people, you’re more likely to become successful yourself.

A mentor offers guidance because the mentee promises something in return, for example, to use the knowledge imparted to make the mentor and his or her firm more successful. The mentor likes the younger person and becomes emotionally invested in his or her advancement.

You can’t simply ask somebody to be personally invested in you. There has to be reciprocity. Your success is in some way your mentor’s success.

First, give help instead of asking for it. If there is someone whose knowledge you need, find a way to help that person. If you can’t help specifically, perhaps you can contribute to his or her charity, company or community. But if there are no immediate opportunities, you must be prudent and conscious of your imposition. Express gratitude, excitement and passion. Eventually, your mentors will see your success also as their own.

Think the plural, “mentors.” You should have multiple mentors, one or more for each of your major personal or professional pursuits. Together, they’ll form a sort of personal “board of advisors.”

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