One of the most important indicators of how well someone will do in their career is how strong their circle of mentors is. Those who have mentors are twice as likely to be promoted as those who don’t, says Ellen Fagenson Eland, professor at George Mason University and winner of the Mentoring Best Practices Award. […]
One of the most important indicators of how well someone will do in their career is how strong their circle of mentors is. Those who have mentors are twice as likely to be promoted as those who don’t, says , professor at and winner of the Mentoring Best Practices Award. There are many types of mentors you need. If you’re a minority, you should have a minority mentor. If you are a woman having a child, you should get a mentor who is managing work and kids the way you would like to. If you are a woman, you should have a man so that you learn how to manage yourself in boys club situations. You get the idea, right? You need a wide range of mentors, and you need different mentors at different times in your life.
So here are some ways to use your social-networking savvy to land the mentors you need right now:
1. Leverage your Brazen Careerist profile to impress people.
You can use to identify someone who would be a good mentor for you. But you need to get their attention right away with a link to something that gives a snapshot of why you are interesting. A blog is a lot to read, and a LinkedIn profile is not going to showcase your ideas. Your profile is exactly the type of information that a mentor wants to find out about you before they sign on. Also, one of the reasons that people mentor is to learn from the mentee. If you introduce your mentor to a place like Brazen Careerist you are helping the mentor to stay on top of their game as well.
2. Connect with other top contributors at Brazen Careerist.
Now that we have launched our you can figure out who is making a major contribution to the network. These people will likely be leaders and people who are in the know, and these are great people to reach out to. At the beginning of your career, some of the strongest help you will receive is from people who are two or three years ahead of you. People who are ten or fifteen years older than you are can help with a lot of connections, but they often forget what it’s like to be at the beginning of a career. Also, the people who have the most knowledge about where the plum jobs are for twentysomethings are usually the twentysomethings themselves. After all, the CEO of GE is not taking part in hiring for entry-level jobs, right?
3. Ask good questions.
The best way to stand out is to . The Internet makes answers a commodity, and conversations-based networking makes good questions more valuable than ever. So focus on questions. Once you meet someone, ask questions that are right for them — something they know a lot about that you are interested in — and then show the person how you used their help to learn more on your own. Self learners are the best type of people to mentor because they end up teaching the mentor as much as they learn from the mentor. Social networks that focus on conversation position you as a good potential mentee.
Be brave. Almost anyone will help you if you approach them with smart, concise questions. And the more you ask these questions the more invested in you a person will feel. You can only get better at asking for help by doing it a lot. If someone ignores you, nothing’s lost. Just move on to the next person. Getting mentoring is like getting a date. The more you try the better you get.