6. Find a mentor
If you do no other kind of networking at least find yourself a mentor — or let one find you. While mentoring relationships are important for all organizational members they are essential for women. Mentors can both protect women from discrimination and help them learn what men supposedly learn from the ‘old boy’s network’ about how to navigate their way past obstacles to their career success. The majority of women who have succeeded in their careers and reached position of influence credit their participation in some sort of mentoring effort for getting them where they are today.
A mentor is that one person who can guide you help you take you under his or her wing and nurture your career quest. He or she is someone you probably have unusually good chemistry with who will share stories with you of his or her own climb to success. An effective mentor isn’t afraid to criticize constructively.
To find a mentor identify someone you admire and test the waters by asking advice. Be sure to reveal as much of yourself as possible. Mentors are most likely to invest themselves in those in whom they see a little of themselves which is why you should never approach a prospective mentor in state of desperation or helplessness. Although the mentor will tend to give a lot more than you do to the relationship be sure to express regularly that you value and appreciate the mentor’s guidance. The feeling of being needed and making a difference in a protege’s life will often be a rewarding payoff for the mentor.