Designing Your Team
It can be awkward enough asking ONE person to be your mentor....but 5 different people?!
I get it.
Throughout my career, I've had great mentors, gone through periods without a mentor and there were those "kinda-sorta mentor/mentee situationships".
First let's talk about the types of mentor/mentee relationships: Then, let's check to see how many of the 5 mentors that you already have!
1. Informal mentoring is typically never initiated by either party. It's an organic relationship where one person takes on the role of listening and providing advice to the other.An informal mentoring relationship could happen with your manager, a colleague, a friend or a person you connect with at a networking event.
2. Formal mentoring is typically initiated by the mentee (or through a formal mentoring program), is established with a goal in mind (you may want to improve your negotiation skills or obtain a new technical skill) and ends after a defined period of time.
The Twin: You need someone that "looks like you", whatever that means for you. This can be a person of the same gender, race, background... You need this person to guide you through navigating shared experiences (like being the only brown girl in the room). .
The Opposite: Just as important as the Twin, you need a person who is an opposite. Again, that can be race, gender, a different field.... This person will help you gain new perspective and provide exposure to people, opportunities and experiences that you may not have otherwise encountered.
The Freshman: Don't sleep on the recent college grads or people younger than you. Freshmen add more to your team than just being tech savvy. Not having a lot of experience in a field makes the Freshman an asset to your team. S/he will ask questions that make you think (and maybe reconsider an outdated approach), inspire you to take risks and keep you on your toes.
The Senior: A key player on the team is the Senior. My Senior is actually only a few years older than I am,, but she has been in human resources for almost 20 years.. That being said, a senior is a person who has diverse experience in either your field, in leadership or any other area that you want to grow. This person can serve as a coach, adviser and/or sponsor.
The Accountability Partner: Initially you connect with this person for a reason through a specific season (think finishing grad school or obtaining a certification like the PMP) . Of course, the relationship can last longer...You and this person have mutual roles as cheerleaders, confidants and ultimately, to see the goals to the finish line.!
As you design your career, which of these mentors do you need to add to complete your Top 5?
Need help finding a mentor? Identified a potential mentor and unsure of how to initiate the relationship? What happens when a mentoring relationship ends?
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