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  • Writer's pictureJean D. Francis Ph.D.

Grow with a Mentor

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

I met my first mentor at an early age: Mom. She was an exceptional mentor and strong role model. The example she set and the experiences she shared prepared me at an early age to develop the knowledge and skills in pursuit of my career path.

Early in my career, I sought a mentor to help maximize my full professional potential and create a clear career trajectory. Seeking a mentor was one of the best decisions that I had made.

Finding a mentor is a great way to take the next step in your career. Mentoring is a valuable developmental activity that is finding someone who has experience, is willing to share knowledge, and is eager to provide advice to help you reach your goals.

Mentoring is a process that facilitates professional growth and support, which requires open and honest mentor-mentee communication through mutually beneficial relationships. These relationships usually last a lifetime.

The process of finding a mentor should be carefully planned and thoroughly thought out. Keep in mind that a single mentor-mentee relationship probably may not satisfy all needs over the course of your career. You will likely develop a portfolio of mentors to meet different phases of your professional and personal life.

Once a mentor has been found, beginning the relationship building process is a key to success. No relationship is built overnight, and there is no fast-and-easy way to make the relationship happen; give the relationship time to develop.

During the mentoring process ask for specific advice, which may help the mentor to develop a viable plan for success. Ask for suggestions and feedback. As your relationship grows you, should find many benefits:

  • Creativity and independence

  • Self-confidence and encouragement

  • Lasting professional relationships

  • Inspiration and motivation

If you are committed to developing your full potential and are willing to allocate time and energy, mentoring may be your best avenue for growth and development. The results are long-lasting, and the professional relationships are priceless.

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