Badger Seeking Badger: How to Identify a Mentor

Whether you are brand new to the workplace or have been around the block a few times, having a mentor inside or outside of your job can boost your career. According to a recent study, employees who have a mentor are more likely to get raises and promotions than employees without mentors. Here are four things to look for to find your perfect match.

They and their job interest you.

Find someone who interests you both professionally and personally. Being genuinely curious about them and what they do will help create an easier relationship. It will help relieve some of the pressure to ask the “right” questions.

They are in a leadership position.

Many of us will take on senior roles or leadership positions in our organization at some point (unless that’s not your style). Having a mentor in a leadership position will help you develop your own leadership style by helping you figure out what you do and don’t like. Furthermore, if you work for the same organization, your mentor’s good opinion can affect things like raises and promotions. If your mentor works outside of your organization, they may be able to provide more objective feedback (“My manager says that working 60 hours a week is normal at this stage of my career — is it?”) or strong recommendations for new jobs in other organizations if you’re considering a change.

You have a good working relationship.

If you are looking for a mentor who works for the same company as you, start by identifying a list of coworkers with whom you have good working relationships.

They represent a different point of view.

This isn’t required for every mentee/mentor relationship, but it can be helpful. Try to choose someone who has a different style from your current supervisor. This will give you a fresh perspective to consider when making decisions.

If you liked these tips and want to learn more about getting ahead in your career, check out the Career Resources Library at uwalumni.com/careers.