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Take Charge Of Your Professional Goals - Seek A Mentor

Aug 27, 2008
There may be a company mentoring program that you can use, but if there isn't one, then it would be better to look to local professional associations for assistance. They will help you in networking, attending local meetings with educational speakers, participating in discussion panels and in many other ways.

It would also be worthwhile to strike up acquaintances with other people in the same industry or profession. It is important to ensure that you select a mentor from the correct level. For example, if you were positioned at the entry level in an organization, it would be proper to seek a manager as a mentor, rather than approach the Vice President.

Respect Your Mentor

You should establish acceptable parameters and norms of the relationship with your mentor from the very outset. Always be respectful of their time, and make sure you never keep them waiting.

It is best if you can establish a set time frame for periodic meetings with your mentor, something like once every month or bimonthly, with a scheduled time and agenda. Also, make sure that you have your agenda prepared and are ready for discussions during your meeting.

Be careful not to create a situation where your mentor has to pick up your lunch or dinner tab, even if they are in a high-paying position. What you can do is either take turns picking up the bill, or pay your own.

Alternatively, if you can afford to, treat your mentor occasionally as a gesture of your appreciation for providing you with their time and help.

A Co-Worker Can Also Be a Role Model and Guide

Look for role models. If you look around you carefully, you may find quite a number of fellow workers that you regard as successful. Make an effort to get to know them and build up strong relationships with them.

By learning how they managed to climb up the success ladder, you can get onto it yourself. People who are high achievers are happy to provide tips if approached in the right manner.

You will also be able to gain further insight by observing them in action.

A Skills Coach Can Be a Free Source of Help

You may also enlist the help of a skills coach to help you improve an area in which you are lacking, such as in making presentations. Your skills coach may help if you treat them well, or if they feel that they may need your help sometime later.

Books, Magazines, Online Courses Can Cater To Growth and Development

Other ways to take action are to read books and magazines in your line of work, and discuss key essentials of exceptional articles in them with your superiors. Ask permission to make a short, related presentation at a team meeting.

You may also take one of the numerous online courses available today to upgrade your skills. At the same time, keep working with your mentor. Discuss your professional development plan with your mentor once you have it ready and ask for feedback.

Check for skills that your mentor feels you should develop. Diligently pursuing your plans for personal development by working with a mentor is sure to provide you with the desired results.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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