10 Updates
How To Find And Use A Mentor
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

How To Find And Use A Mentor

Mar 14 2014, 10:34am CDT | by

How To Find And Use A Mentor I found a mentor without looking for one. Back in the early ’90s I was producing talking heads segments for a public television news program, MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

18 weeks ago

How To Find And Use A Mentor

Mar 14 2014, 10:34am CDT | by

How To Find And Use A Mentor

I found a mentor without looking for one. Back in the early ’90s I was producing talking heads segments for a public television news program, MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, where I was always on the lookout for articulate women panelists. I saw an economist named Susan Lee on a Bill Moyers show, thought she was dynamite, and invited her to be a guest on the NewsHour. As Susan became a regular, we started a friendship. Then in 1994 Robert MacNeil announced he was retiring, and the show was shutting its New York office. I needed a new job.

Susan, who had worked at some of the most prestigious media outlets in New York, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, swung into action, introducing me to well-connected friends, overhauling my résumé and coaching me on my career. She helped me land my job at Forbes, and she didn’t stop there. She has guided my path here, advising me on everything from office politics to how to handle calls from headhunters and the vicissitudes of my changing profession (a recent admonition: figure out what you can do professionally outside of journalism). She’s provided me no end of great counsel and served as a model for success and career satisfaction. I don’t know what I’d have done without her.

As the years passed, I found myself mentoring several young women here at Forbes. One of them, Maha Atal, graduated from my alma mater, Brown University, and interned here before becoming a fellow for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, working in Pakistan, reporting and blogging. She has since cofounded Public Business , a nonprofit that supports business journalism that serves the public interest, in addition to pursuing a thriving freelance career that included a Forbes cover story about IMF chief Christine Lagarde. She’s now studying for her Ph.D. in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Though Maha has claimed she looks up to me and that I’ve helped her in her young career, I find her intelligence, energy and insight into the world of new media almost as rewarding as my relationship with Susan.

So far, my mentor-mentee relationships have evolved organically. Susan and I had good chemistry, as did Maha and I. I consider these relationships at least as much friendships as professional connections. Which got me wondering: Can mentoring be arranged? Is it possible to go out and find a mentor as a matter of course?

“The answer is, sometimes,” says Ellen Ensher, a professor of management at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and author of Power Mentoring: How Successful Mentors and Protégés Get the Most out of Their Relationships. She notes that most major companies think so; 70% have some sort of mentoring program in place.

Ensher teaches a human resources course each semester in which she assigns students to go out and find their own mentors. Many express trepidation at the outset, but they’re almost always successful by term’s end, she says.

To help her students, she has come up with an eight-step process for locating a mentor. First step: self-examination. Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and at the areas in which you need to improve, which she calls your “growing edges.” What are your goals? How will you use a mentor once you find one? Imagine your ideal mentor, she suggests. Is it Oprah Winfrey ? If so, try to analyze which of her qualities you find most appealing.

Next step: network. Tell everyone you know that you need a mentor. Tap your parents and their friends. Use your school’s career office. Look into professional organizations. Go online, especially on LinkedIn.

When you’re ready to reach out, be specific. People are more likely to respond to a concrete request, like a 20-minute coffee meeting to discuss the potential mentor’s career path, than to an open-ended cry for help, which could potentially turn into a burdensome time suck. Ease into the relationship. Establish rapport before you ask for too much.

Pursue more than one mentor at the same time, Ensher also advises. Even if your ideal is Oprah, you may find her empathy in one mentor, her business savvy in another and a slew of great professional networking connections in a third. Throughout your search, think about what you can offer in return for your mentor’s generosity. Maybe you’re a whiz with Facebook. Or if your would-be mentor works in advertising or marketing, you could offer up some ideas or strategies from a youthful perspective.

Once the door is open, take action. “I had a mentor who said to me, ‘I’m like a blank check. You have to write the check,’” Ensher recalls. Stay in touch. If you had an interesting discussion with her and then you see a related article in a newspaper or magazine, e-mail the link. Or if you run across a book you think would interest your mentor, buy it for her.

Finally, follow up. Write a thank-you e-mail or give a quick call when your mentor has done you a favor. If she helped you set up an interview, let her know how it went. Inform her when you’ve landed an internship or job.

Mentor relationships can wax and wane with the rhythms of our lives, but don’t let them lapse. They’re far too valuable.

 This is an update of a story that appeared previously.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat wa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

6 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Collingwood Magpies Training Session
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohame ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

6 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Sc ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Dam ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

47 killed in Taiwan as plane makes botched landing (Roundup)
Taipei, July 23 (IANS) Forty-seven people on board a Taiwanese TransAsia Airways plane were killed in a failed emergency landing in the island county of Penghu Wednesday, Taiwan's transportation authority has confirmed.
 
 
47 killed in Taiwan plane's botched landing
Taipei, July 23 (IANS) Forty-seven people on board a Taiwanese TransAsia Airways plane were killed in a failed emergency landing in the island county of Penghu Wednesday, Taiwan's transportation authority has confirmed.
 
 
51 killed in Taiwan plane emergency landing
Beijing, July 23 (IANS) At least 51 people were killed and seven others injured when a passenger plane with Taiwan's TransAsia Airways made an emergency landing on the outlying island county of Penghu Wednesday, media reported.
 
 
High salt ups heart disease risk in diabetics
Tokyo, July 23 (IANS) People with Type-2 diabetes have more to add to their list of dietary restrictions as researchers have found that a high salt diet may double their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Toll hits 682 in Gaza Strip
Gaza, July 24 (IANS) The toll in the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, which started July 8, has grown to 682, authorities said Wednesday. Israeli airstrikes and tank shelling as part of the 'Operation...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock 'best friends'
Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock have reportedly become the ''best of friends''. The 45-year-old star and the 49-year-old actress have struck up a close relationship after meeting at mutual pal Gwyneth Paltrow's...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
JWoww 'blacked out' during labor
Jenni 'JWoww' Farley has claimed she ''blacked out'' when she was giving birth to her daughter. The former 'Jersey Shore' star - who was induced 39 weeks into her pregnancy - admits her labor was ''way more painful''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lana Del Rey likes 'passionate love'
Lana Del Rey likes to have a ''passionate love''. The 29-year-old singer believes a large proportion of a relationship is based on sex and she admits she isn't interested in romance unless it is ''physical''. Speaking...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Yosemite and Apple’s best Macs yet are reportedly launching this fall
Apple will release the public OS X Yosemite beta on Thursday, with 9to5Mac reporting that the final version will be released as a free download via the Mac App Store at some point in late October, possibly alongside...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
US extends ban on flights to Tel Aviv
Washington, July 24 (IANS) US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Wednesday that all flights of the country's airlines to Tel Aviv will be prohibited for additional 24 hours over concerns on safety situation....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
New Photos Revealed iPhone 6 Lightning/Headphone Flex Cable and Rear Shell
The photos of the components of the iPhone 6 is continuing to be leaked, as the new images unveil lightning and headphone flex cable, accompanied by the rear shell.According to Mac Rumors, the images have been published...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Next iPad Mini Reportedly Containing 30% Slimmer Shape
The next version of iPad Mini will be thinner than ever, as a new report claims that the device will have 30% slimmer shape than its predecessor.The International Business Times stated that the upcoming iPad Mini 3 will...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Windows 9: One OS to rule all devices
Unlike Apple, which thinks merging iOS and OS X would be a “waste of energy,” Microsoft wants one single Windows operating system to be available to all its device users, whether they’re Windows Phone handset owners,...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
7 CEOs Who Took A Gamble And Scored
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs got to where they are today by taking strategic gambles that turned into a big payoff. At the time each took their risk, others would have regarded their decisions as...
Read more on Apple Balla