Mentors Wanted

What’s rule number one for finding a mentor in the new economy? You’re in control. Proteges are in the driver’s seat today, says Subhana Ansari, a training-projects manager for Adecco Employment Services. Here are Ansari’s rules of the mentoring road.


Adjust your mirror.

“Before searching for a mentor, do a self-assessment. What skills do you need to get where you want to go? Which ones should you tune up? Are you aiming for something that can be done in six months – or two years?”

Scout out the route.

“Do some prep work before you approach a prospective mentor. Call his administrative assistant and ask what he’s like to work with. Make sure you know when it’s a good time to approach him.”

Get in first gear.

“The two of you should agree on how the mentoring relationship will work. Outline your expectations about frequency and type of contact.”

Set the cruise control.

“Even if your meetings later become informal, you should try to have some structure in the beginning.

Bring an agenda that is tied to your goals.

If you settle for incidental advice and don’t relate it to your overall objectives, you won’t get much out of your meetings.”

Coordinates: Subhana Ansari,