Skip to main content

Finding a Mentor

I was pleased to get an email the other day from a young professional who seeks out my mentoring advice on occasion. She told me she had just learned she would be starting the new job soon that she’d been hoping to obtain. That reminded me of what it’s like to change jobs – at any point in a career.

When you start a new job, it is usually overwhelming. There are new people’s names (and titles) to learn along with the office layout, the alphabet soup of acronyms, and the culture and ethos of the organization. You aren’t thinking about identifying a mentor, I’m sure.

But that is something that would be very useful at this early stage.

While some organizations assign a “buddy” or other peer co-worker to new, junior employees to help them navigate the newness at an organization, as you become more senior, this rarely happens. For some reason, leaders think other leaders and leaders-on-the-way don’t need help when joining an organization.

Don’t let this stop you.

Mentors are everywhere around you – and you selection isn’t permanent. You just need to find a person (or persons) for now. Was there someone who was very friendly and chatted a bit when you were first introduced? Has someone stopped by your office to see how you are settling in? Was there an encounter before or after a meeting with someone that resonated with you?

Good. Now comes the hardest part.

Get up out of your desk chair. Leave your office. And go find that person.

Navigating a new office’s floorplan may be scary but it’s a great way to see and be seen. And the person you are seeking will be pleased and surprised to be sought out - and will likely be really happy to spend time with you answering your questions or giving you some guidance or company history (either then or at a mutually-agreeable time you can set up).

And you’ll have made a bond with a mentor and made a relationship that can help you succeed in your new position.

Posted via email from sue griffey's posterous

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mentor: Linda Fogarty, Senior Director, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research, Jhpiego

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Linda Fogarty’s responses.

What are mentees looking for?
They want someone to help them believe in themselves, clarify their strengths and passion and their own professional goals
Helping them understand what their best is and how they can be their best

What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with?
You need to fight for yourself. Understand your professional value and provide that to others.

Why are you interested in mentoring?
It’s very satisfying to see mentee growth and development and how they transform themselves.

Mentor: Barbara Rawlins, Monitoring and Evaluation Team Leader, Maternal and Child Survival Program

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Barbara Rawlins’ responses:
What are mentees looking for? · Career guidance · Technical advice · Moral support · Advice on how to negotiate politically-sensitive or controversial situation
What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with? Figure out what they want to do (in the long term) and what steps they can take to get there
Why are you interested in mentoring? To support younger colleagues, especially women, to help attain their career goals

What Kind of Culture do YOU Want to Work in - And How Can You Decide If You Fit?

Most mentees I work with are pursuing a job – whether it’s getting a job or moving to a different job and/or company – and one area that mentees don’t routinely consider is that of a company’s culture. (See resources that describe “company culture” such as https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-company-culture-2062000.) Mentees focus on the job under recruitment and on the organization, but they don’t always take the time to understand the hiring organization’s culture – and the mentee’s fit in different company cultures.
There are many resources on categories of company cultures that provide job-seekers with ways to assess what categories they would best fit in. And these can be also used in an interview situation to determine culture. Organizational Culture Types https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/Organizational-Culture-Types5 Types of Corporate Culture: Which One Is Your Company? https://blog.enplug.com/corporate-culture9 Types of Org…