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Become A Mentor. Simple things that may seem easy or straightforward to you now may be a complete mystery to a young person. Before becoming a mentor, here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring.

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In reality, that's not always the dynamic or the demographic. Capable grown-ups need guidance too, but finding a mentor as an adult can be particularly daunting.

What makes a good mentor

I started thinking about this when I hit a roadblock in my own career. And while this particular scenario played out more smoothly than most things in my adult life, finding a mentor after you leave college isn't usually easy. You might now be more isolated socially, or it might feel strange to ask for help when you're expected to have your life "together. Pursuing a mentor is worth a trouble, though. We often seek out mentors when we're new to a profession, but that may not be when we need them most.

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We always need those kinds of professionals in our careers. A good mentor can help you to navigate your career by seeing habits that you might not. During our first meeting, my new mentor sat me down and asked to see what I was working on.

Search for a local mentoring program

I started mumbling, I showed her notes in my phone, opened files on my desktop, and handed her a stack of Post-it notes. Being disorganized meant that I was less productive than I could be, but I couldn't see that on my own. I needed a new system and only someone from the inside could bring that to my attention.

In other words, choose someone who's farther along in their career but not so much so that they're inaccessible.

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Identify what it is that you need in order to get to a higher plane, professionally. It helps if you already have a relationship with the person you're seeking guidance from.

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If you already know them personally, now is the time to reach out. If no one comes to mind immediately, start looking for Facebook groups and professional organizations that center around your field.

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Narrow it down to people in your profession who also fit your demographic. For example, I'm in a group of queer female freelance writers. You can plant the seeds of a mentorship relationship by tagging people for advice in thre. Take your time starting this new relationship, just like you hopefully would any other relationship. When you ask someone to mentor you, make it an invitation they want to accept.

Finding a mentor as an adult can be difficult and awkward. here's how to do it.

Consider courting them if it feels appropriate. Ask them to lunch or out for a coffee to talk about what they've been up to. You may not end up with a mentor every time, but you'll likely at least establish a rapport with a more established colleague. My mentor helped me make a step-by-step plan for my writing career.

When you were young, did you know how to study for a test or make plans for college? do you remember wanting your first car or looking for a part-time job?

As a more established journalist, she knew how to plot out the distance from where I was to where she is. She also knew some of the particular roadblocks that I face. But, there are times in which traditional outsiders gain the vantage point of an "insider" — through status, and education — so they then can also help others who may not be so situated.

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This is particularly important if you're part of a marginalized population. An insider will understand not only the logistic steps of your career trajectory but will also understand the complex power structures that are at play in your field.

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Culver went on to note that professional success is often based on subtle power dynamics that your mentor could be better versed at navigating than you currently are. So, having a mentorship relationship can not only helps both parties, it can also disrupt the status quo and level out the playing field for everyone who loves what they do. Also, Culver reminds me that a mentor is doing you a favor by helping you with you career for free, so vocalized gratitude is crucial.

I had amazing mentors in my life who provided me with valuable perspectives, guidance, and motivation.

I’ve never had a mentor

So I feel happy that I have the opportunity to pay it forward. By Tracey Anne Duncan. First, recognize when you need a mentor We often seek out mentors when we're new to a profession, but that may not be when we need them most.

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Adda

The research on the power of mentorship is pretty clear: People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even experience more work-life satisfaction.
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Elyn

When I was in college, I asked one of my professors to be my mentor.
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Glenn

An award-winning team of journalists, deers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens.
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Johnna

Are you a parent, guardian, teacher, or caring adult to a young person who you feel could benefit from a mentor?
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