Questions to Get Started

Mentoring is just-in-time help, insight into issues, and the sharing of expertise, values, skills, and perspectives. Mentors function as a catalyst—an agent that provokes a reaction that might not otherwise have taken place or speeds up a reaction that might have taken place in the future.

Ask yourself the following questions to assist with selecting an appropriate mentor.

Career

Sponsorship

Who knows me well enough to nominate me for positions?

Exposure/Visibility

Who in our organization/profession makes assignments, appoints committees, task forces, and so forth?

Coaching

Who has the particular expertise that I lack? Who might be willing to teach me?

Protection

Who knows the political aspects of our organization/profession? Who could give me good advice on how I might ensure success?

Challenging Assignments

Who knows me and my skills but also is in the know about our organization or profession? Would that person be willing to put my name forward?


Psychosocial

Role Modeling

Who do I want to be like? Whose style am I comfortable with?

Acceptance/Confirmation

Who do I go to when I need a boost? Who helps me feel that everything will be OK?

Counseling

Who do I feel comfortable sharing my feelings with? Who do I believe is wise in the ways of the world?

Friendship

Who do I connect with? Who do I want to spend more "quality time" with?