Meet Your Mentor

Hello, Anita:

I took a new job a few months ago in an industry that I am unfamiliar with. I am very eager to learn as much as I possibly can about this new area and want to find a mentor to help guide me through this transition. What should I look for in a mentor and how do I find one that is best suited for me?


Hi, Mentor Wanted:

Mentors are great resources to help build your knowledge in a new industry. I strongly believe that everyone should have a mentor and develop a strong relationship during their career. Good mentors provide a source of inspiration, understanding, motivation, and knowledge. Their guidance and perspective can help shape your decision-making and help you become the best professional you can be.

When looking for a mentor, it is important to understand what you want out of mentor-mentee relationship. Before you begin inquiring about mentee MW_Mentoropportunities, be sure you have the answers to the questions:

  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you hope to benefit from a mentor?
  • How do you think you can contribute to the relationship?
  • How often do you wish to meet or communicate?
  • What are the expectations for each person involved?

Once you have a clear understanding of what you would like from your mentee experience, it is time to do some digging and find your new mentor. I found a great article called The Wealth of Mentoring from one of my favorite resources, TradePost, that spells out some great tips for finding a mentor that will mesh with you. Coupled with a few of my own, these suggestions are great to keep in mind during your search:

  • Similar Career Goals: Find a mentor who is not only accomplished in your field but who has career goals that match your own.
  • Be Selective: Find someone who you think will be the best fit to help you in your career.
  • Personality Match: Find a mentor whose personality complements your own.
  • Referrals: Ask your human resources department, colleagues, and friends for good ideas of possible mentors.
  • Look outside of your office: Finding a mentor that is not directly related to your company can be great. Look to associations, business groups, and even family friends
  • Your new mentor may be younger: Don’t discriminate because of age. I am a full supporter of teaching old dogs (like me) new tricks!
  • Don’t limit yourself:  Have a variety of mentors to help strike a balance in all areas of your profession.


Keep in mind that finding a great mentor is not a race. Select carefully and spend time developing the relationship. The mentor you decide to work with may become your next business best friend and ally.

Readers: What qualities do you look for when selecting a mentor? What is the most important must-have trait you want in your mentors?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julieta A. Lisbo
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 03:36:54

    Hi,Anita good morning. I would like to have a mentor who can help me in my job. He/She should have the same job with me, able to give constructive criticism,open minded and can give me the idea to perform my job my very well.



  2. angel
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 09:55:37

    Hello Anita,in a recent job interview i,was asked What is your biggest challenge? i just didn’t know what to answer.What could i have answered. Thanks Anita



    • anitaclew
      Mar 28, 2013 @ 14:45:27

      Hi! This question has been known to stump more than a few job candidates. When you are asked this question, rephrase it in your head as, “What has been your greatest accomplishment?” For you to have achieved a standout goal you must have been faced with a series of difficulties to get there! Keep your answer positive and let the outcome of your challenge put you in the best light!



  3. Sherrette Pearson
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:24:19

    Ms.Clew, I live in Gary,In. I work at McDonald’s in the Miller Beach area, Im not at all HAPPY there. I need to update my resume. For 14 years I was a CNA, I have done HHA and I have done Commpanion Care also worked in Group Homes in DesMoines, Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa. I have to be certified in the state I live in. I am unable to Challenged the test here. What do I need to do. I also worked at hospitals and the Hospice House



  4. Cmo
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 08:56:30

    I have applied for several positions. Two are not due to start until may 1. If another job is offered to me now should I take it. The job with may 1 has not been offered yet. Just went on second interview and hiring manager said she will not start the position until may since she is hiring for three positions. Same titles but three slots.



    • anitaclew
      Apr 02, 2013 @ 11:04:17

      Hi! Thank you for the great question.

      Absolutely take the job if it is offered to you before the position is offered/starts on May 1. You do not want to pass up an opportunity while you are waiting for another one to materialize.

      Let me know how everything turns out!




    Mar 26, 2013 @ 08:23:03

    Hello Anita Clew,I applied to selecting staffing a few weeks ago for employment and I haveyet heard anything. I am so eager to get back to work and nothing orno one has respond to my application. I would like to get an interview orat least a call/email back stating that your company still has me onfile.I look forward to hearing from some one soon.Cordially,Jessica



    • anitaclew
      Mar 28, 2013 @ 15:06:58

      Hi, Jessica:

      Thank you for your question on my blog. I always love hearing from my readers. As for your question, your best bet is to contact your local Select Staffing branch and ask for assistance – They will be happy to give you more information about your application status.

      Thanks and best of luck on your job search,



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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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