Professional mentors can exist in many forms: They can be people you bounce ideas off of, swap interview or salary negotiation tips with, or who advocate for another person within their organization or field. Hopefully, you’ve have had a mentor figure to shepherd you in your career. Or, maybe you didn’t, and you want to be that source for someone else. It’s your turn to share your wealth of knowledge with a mentee, either in your field or outside of it. Building your network to seek out a relationship that clicks — and endures — can be a challenge. Here, career experts suggest the savviest ways to pay it forward in your professional life.
Network outside of work too. “While professional events and forums may be helpful for some, they may seem a bit forced for others,” says Mike Fitzgerald, a career coach and advisor at ClearRock, Inc., a Boston-based career transition, outplacement, leadership development, and executive coaching firm. “This could happen virtually anywhere: at a professional association event, a place of worship, a health and fitness facility, or with sons and daughters of good friends or acquaintances.” Start by just offering tips to the person on a case-by-case basis, and slowly build the relationship that way. “Let them know that you are open to continuing the conversation, and then see if they respond to your guidance by following up with additional questions or concerns,” Fitzgerald says
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