Working with a mentor can be key to guiding you through your professional journey. A mentor can offer expertise and motivation as you navigate your career.

In finding a mentor, you can start by looking in your own network including professors, family, friends or coworkers. In addition, you can utilize online programs such as FindAMentor.com or social platforms like LinkedIn. And if you prefer face-to-face interaction, there’s no better place than industry meetups and networking events like trade shows or conferences. Try to identify someone who understands your company and can give you long-term advice about your industry.

When you finally nail down a mentor, below are some helpful tips to establish a lasting relationship.

  1. Stay committed – When working with a mentor, it's your job to invest the time and energy to cultivate the relationship. Schedule recurring meetings to maintain communication.
  2. Set long-term goals – Setting goals can provide the foundation and direction you need to grow in your job role. Once you’ve determined realistic goals, work with your mentor to establish benchmarks for success.
  3. Communicate and listen – Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek out advice, and be open to constructive feedback when given. Keep you mentor informed of your professional progress or any challenges you have encountered.
  4. Take advantage of resources to succeed – Your mentor will make note of areas in which you want to grow and provide suggestions to strengthen your skills – so use that to your advantage! Attend meetings or events you’re invited to or sign-up for a class your mentor recommends.
  5. Be respectful – Your mentor is giving you the time and energy to help you succeed, so always fulfill your commitment and show your appreciation of your mentor's time.

In the end, whether you’re starting out in a new job role or leading a company, having a good mentor is crucial to career growth and success.