In the technical industry, there is sometimes an attitude that individuals can learn quickly and independently, so a mentor is not necessary. Even the brightest and most self-reliant would be wise to gain a mentor to elevate their performance and contribution to their employer.
Ask the Human Resources Department if your employer has a mentoring program. If they don’t, you can form a mentoring relationship on your own. Time is precious and not everyone has the time be act as mentor. Be realistic about who you ask to mentor you. Don’t except an executive-level mentor if you are a mid-level analyst.
You may meet your mentor at corporate gatherings, during a common project, or at an industry event. Why would someone agree to share valuable minutes from their schedule to mentor someone? A mentor may share their time and expertise to pay it forward, as they were likely mentored at an earlier point in their career.
Identify people with similar experiences and who may be able to help you navigate challenges and provide insight regarding professional development and career choices. Many mentors enjoy the chance to help a junior employee avoid mistakes that they made.
In respect of your mentor’s generosity, establish guidelines regarding frequency, assignments, confidentiality, and expectations. Research your mentor’s career history and employers, most of which you can find on LinkedIn. It would be awkward if you did not know the mentor's career highlights. Ask your mentor his or her methods to achieve their success. Mentors can advise you regarding gaps in skills and how you can fill them.
Offer to be of help to your mentor. In some cases, you could be a reverse mentor and provide technical training to a business or management mentor. Additionally, make a pledge to your mentor that you will mentor someone else down the line, that you will pay it forward.