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Do You Have the Right Mentors

How Mentors Can Help Advance Your Career

Tapping into the expertise of mentors can help you achieve your career goals, however many women still struggle with the basic concept. Do you need a mentor, and how will you know if they will be a fit, personally and professionally?

You may be surprised to find that mentors are everywhere - from one or more of your college professors to your lifelong family friend who started his own successful business to your older sister who juggles having two children with a successful career in banking.

"The key to finding the right mentors for you is to keep your eyes open," said JillXan Donnelly, President of The Career Exposure Network™. "Look to your personal and professional relationships to see who, either male or female, can help provide guidance, support and development throughout all stages of your career."

Rely on several mentors, as doing so expands your ability to develop allies across all areas of your career development. While one mentor may be better at providing general business training or networking and advancement opportunities, another may be helpful in helping you achieve work/life balance or simply providing on-the-job style advice.

Discovering the mentors in your life is only the first step to building an effective mentor relationship. The following tips can help you get more out of the mentoring experience:

  1. Successful mentoring can be both informal and formal. Don't expect that all relationships need to be highly structured to be effective.
  2. Show your mentors that you are open to honest and constructive coaching and feedback.
  3. Apply your mentor's insights as they make sense for your career goals and be willing to discuss outcomes, both good and bad.
  4. Keep your mentor informed of the significant points in your career - both the high and low.
  5. Give back to your mentor. Let your mentor know the impact they have had on your career and say thank you!

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