Finding a mentor the first step to a new career

Job-seekers and business representatives talk during the Dr. King Career Fair on April 11, 2013. Mashable.com reports that finding a good mentor could be the key to career success. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

WASHINGTON – With students graduating college this time of year, they’ll soon be off to start careers. This is also a popular time of year for changing jobs.

Mashable says choosing a mentor can help facilitate the process.

Mentors offer tips for overcoming professional challenges and making difficult decisions. They can also help determine whether graduate school is the right way to go.

According to Mashable, a mentee should chose a mentor they respect who has the career they’d like to have. Personality is also important. The experience will be more valuable if the mentee likes who they’re working with.

Another important factor is finding someone who is well-connected.

“Your mentor’s network is your most valuable group of contacts. As someone who is personally invested in your success, your mentor will open up their network to you. Just be cognizant of everyone’s time – make sure you ask for specific advice or introductions. Don’t let them do the work,” Kellee Khalil, CEO of Lover.ly, tells Mashable.

Another piece of advice from Mashable is to write down expectations so mentors and mentees can be on the same page. Here are some examples:

  • What do you want to learn?
  • How often would you like to meet and for how long?
  • How long will the mentorship last?

A mentor doesn’t have to be someone you already know. Most cities have meetups for practically every industry, and Mashable suggests seeking out professionals who’ve had interesting careers and introducing yourself.

Another place to find a mentor offline is at nearby colleges and universities. Find a professor or doctoral candidate whose career and expertise interest you, introduce yourself and ask to take them for a coffee.

For more information and advice on finding a mentor, visit Mashable.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @VRobWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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