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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

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