Dear Jane: How Do I Find a Mentor?

by 352admin 28. February 2013 13:43

Dear JaneDear Jane,

I want a mentor.  What do I do –  just walk up to someone and say, “Will you be my mentor?”




Dear Mentor-less,

First, let’s define the term mentor.  Mentoring is a reciprocal relationship involving concerns about professional development and personal growth – learning how to substantively complete an assignment is training, not mentoring.  Your instincts on needing a mentor are good.  Effective mentoring is a very material component in being successful.  There are lots of ways to begin a mentoring relationship.  I don’t think your question will be particularly effective, but with the right person it may work.  One technique that has a much higher likelihood of success is to evaluate what you are after on the professional development or personal growth front.  Then find someone who has been successful on that front and ask them for a half hour of their time.  For example, if you want to figure out how to get involved in a particular professional organization, determine who the officers are of the organization and reach to one of them.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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Dear Jane

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