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Finding the Right Mentor

December 20, 2019

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A mentor will provide you with the expert advice and on-going support you will need to excel at your job in administrative support in the here and now, as well as support for your career progression ambitions.

Finding the right mentor starts with the all-important question-what do you want from that relationship? What are your expectations? Make a list of your thoughts on this, and communicate the same to prospective mentors. Someone who will be able to deliver on your expectations, and then some, is definitely the person you want as a mentor.

There is more to finding the right mentor than just looking at the skills and experience that the mentor will bring to the table. You will, of course, want to consider someone who has a genuine appreciation of what your role in administrative support entails and the work you do. That said, go for a mentor, who is, among other things, the following:

  1. A Good Listener

The right mentor will do more than just hear you when you express yourself. They will actually listen and understand you. Find a mentor who appreciates where you are in your journey and is keen to understand where it is you want to be and what the bigger picture looks like for you.

The mentor will be passing down great advice. You want someone who will give you an opportunity to present your feedback on the same and how it is all working out for you.

  1. An Open Book

You are better off with a mentor who is transparent and honest about their journey in administrative support, and more so, the challenges that they have had to overcome, and continue to overcome.

It’s easy to sell the good and pretend to be perfect. However, a good mentor knows that there are valuable lessons you can learn from their mistakes and will not shy away from sharing them with you. They will share generously, and not hold back for fear that you may outshine them in the long run.

  1. Esteems Confidentiality

You may approach your mentor for advice if you are having problems relating to someone from your office. It would only strain that relationship more if your mentor went around saying one thing or the other about the matter.

Be it the good, not-so-good, or the plain bad, you want someone who you can trust with everything that you share. As you go about finding the right mentor, you may want to stay clear of anyone who has earned themselves the reputation of office gossipmonger.

  1. Focused And Goal-Oriented

How focused is the person in achieving the goals, both personal and professional, that they set out for themselves? The answer to this question can give you some insight into what you can expect out of your mentorship arrangement.

As you start out your relationship, you will come together and set some goals. Someone who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their goals in other areas will no doubt inspire more confidence right off the bat.

  1. Emotionally Intelligent And Supportive

No. it’s not always possible to take emotions out of the equation . Think of those times when something happens at work, and the emotions take their toll on you, pushing you to the edge. In those times, you may think of quitting or taking some personal days for yourself.

A better solution would be to talk to someone who has gone through what you are going through and come out on the other side better. The right mentor can be that person for you; understanding what you are feeling without being judgmental.

On emotional intelligence, you want someone who socially aware and can pick up on little cues here and there. This awareness will make your interactions even more productive, with the mentor knowing when and how much to push you and when it is time to back down.

  1. Someone With A Solid And Diverse Network

Who else can your mentor introduce you to in and out of the organization? You want someone who can set up, or otherwise let you sit in on meetings that will be a great learning experience.

Someone who can introduce you to other like-minded individuals should always be high up on your list as you go about finding the right mentor. In this network, you will find advice and guidance to complement and supplement what you are getting from your mentor.

Ways To Find Your Mentor

  1. Formal Mentorship Program Within Your Company

If your company has a structured mentorship program in place, pairing up with someone will be all the easier for you. All you have to do is sign up for the program. Depending on the company policy, you may or may not have a say on who it is you end up being paired with on the program.

  1. Find Someone Within Your Organization

Even in the absence of a formal program, you can always approach someone within your organization and develop a mutually fulfilling mentor-mentee relationship.

There’s no doubt quite a number of people you respect at your job. Think of that administrative support assistant everyone looks up to. Again, there’s no reason why you can’t choose someone working in a different department.

  1. Attend Local Networking Events

Networking events bring together like-minded individuals looking to build relationships, and do and be better. Such a gathering is the perfect place to start on your journey towards finding the right mentor.

Don’t be too quick to put a label on anything just yet. Some people, while flattered, may also be overwhelmed if you bluntly ask them to be your mentor during this first meet.

Instead, ask if they’d be willing to meet with you or talk to you over the phone or email about what it is that you think they may be able to help you with. The conversations will build into more over time, and before long, you have a budding mentorship.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Finding the right mentor could, very well, just be one DM away. Go through profiles on LinkedIn and find someone who has been where you are and worked their way to where you want to be. Get the conversation started with a DM or email.

Go For It

After identifying someone you may wish to mentor you, do not hesitate to ask. Unfortunately, for any number of reasons, you may not get the answer you are hoping for, but that’s no reason to despair. Chances are, they may get you in touch with someone else who is just as good a fit or even better.

After investing so much in finding the right mentor, you want to make sure you get the most out of that relationship. Keep an open mind, be ready to learn, listen, and commit yourself to becoming the best administrative support professional you can be.

Whether you are on your first job or have been working in administrative support for years, you need a mentor. As outlined, finding the right mentor starts with identifying the qualities you want in a mentor. On where exactly to find such a mentor, you have several options as highlighted.

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Producer of

APCEA Summit  EA Ignite