How to Find a Mentor with Sheri Hart

On the podcast last week, I interviewed my good friend Sheri Hart.  Sheri is an Associate Connections Director in Performance Content at VMLY&R. VMLY&R is a global brand experience agency made up of nearly 7,000 employees worldwide, with one of its principal offices located in Kansas City.

Sheri has been a leader of people for more than 10 years, and her passion is making sure that there is grace that allows for humanity in the workplace.  She joined me on the show to talk about mentorship.  Here are the takeaways from that interview:

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a person who can serve as a guide through whatever situation you are working through in your education or career.  It may be someone who has experience looking for a job, writing a resume, or creating a portfolio; if you’re a student, you’re looking to take the next step.  Or, someone who can help you with goals or skills you are looking to develop like giving or receiving feedback, giving presentations, or navigating difficult coworkers or leaders.

Why should you have a mentor?

Most of us have encountered a situation at work where we are in unfamiliar territory.  There is always someone who has been there, done that.  Whether it was determining they needed a career change or how to get their foot in the door within a specific company or industry, they’ve experienced it.

Where do I find these people?

There are a lot of places to find a mentor, and many times it will happen organically.  You may find yourself speaking with someone in the workplace where you appreciate their knowledge and input and are comfortable asking them questions and spending additional time discussing your goals, problems, strengths, and weaknesses.  In fact, I’ve found this to be my favorite way for relationships to start.  Who do you admire?  Who do you know or see who is already in that place where you are trying to be?  Look for groups – business groups locally or online where people in your career field or the career field you’re looking to get into.  Check out your Alma Mater – many colleges have programs to mentor their students and former students.  Just remember that, like any relationship, you may want to meet with more than one person before deciding they are “the one.”  Many people are successful or experts at their craft, but not all are open to sharing their secrets or being good listeners.

To hear the entire episode, go to www.adultingwithcj.com/podcast/020.

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