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Boost Your Positivity with a Mentor

by Beth on October 10th, 2011

I’m very pleased to have my first guest blogger, Rene Petrin, share his thoughts about the positive benefits of mentoring.

You’ve had a challenging day at the office with so many fires to put out and some issues that have sapped your energy and self-confidence. You remember that you have a scheduled session with your mentor, Jane, in a few hours and feel a sense of relief. The day may have started on a negative note, but it sure will end on a positive one.

This is what it’s like to have a mentor. All the literature and anecdotal information speaks to the value and power of having someone involved in your professional life who is looking out for you and who is there to listen during times of difficulty and to reassure you of your abilities and gifts. This relationship, if engaged in properly, can lead you to new areas of growth you might not have thought possible, because a mentor’s role is to help you see your abilities and to support you in achieving your professional and personal goals. It is the most important strategic career move you can make.

How do I find a mentor? With social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, it is so much easier than it used to be. First, locate people who have expertise or knowledge in the areas you wish to develop. Ask them questions about their experience or ask for advice on how to develop the same skills. Engaging in this way allows you to build somewhat of a relationship. As you engage more and more over time, there will be a moment when asking that person to be your mentor will feel natural and easy. Even so, that person may not be able to fulfill the mentoring role due to his or her specific circumstances, but don’t give up. Go onto the next person, and, in short order, you’ll find the person who can best be of help.

What do I look for in a mentor? Look for someone who is a good listener, who is willing to let you be who you are (and not try to mold you into a thinly veiled version of the mentor), and who can commit to meeting regularly (in person or virtually through something like Skype).

If you’ve been looking for a positive influence in your career, start your search now and find a mentor who will make a positive difference in your life.

BIO: Rene Petrin is the founder and president of Management Mentors, a company that has been designing and implementing world-class mentoring programs since 1989. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

  1. Mal Montgomery permalink

    Thanx – great guidance. Would be keen to chat more about the specifics around “virtual mentoring” (telephonic and skype) as opposed to face to face sessions – strategies to adopt that make for a richer and more engaging virtual mentoring session.

  2. Beth permalink

    Thanks for your comment! I do think virtual mentoring can be very effective. I’m sure if you connect with Rene he would be happy to share his ideas with you.

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