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Careers

Mentoring

Heather McKissick, UFCU VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development, talks with KXAN's Studio 512 about finding a mentor that is the right fit for you.

 

Mentoring is a loosely structured relationship between two people. A mentor could be a well-qualified peer or someone younger with new fresh ideas.

There are two primary types of mentor: what to do and how to be.

What to do

A career-based mentor is someone who has done exactly what you want to do in your career. You can learn the path they took and then follow in their footsteps.

How to be

A life mentor is someone whose life balancing skills you admire. From them, you can learn how to handle stress, improve your communication skills and other life skills that aren't limited to your career.

Think about the characteristics of the mentor that you are looking for. Do you need someone structured and disciplined who will keep you on task? Or would you rather have someone who's more of a coach with a softer touch? Think through the characteristics of the person that you think you would have a good mentor relationship with.

The best place to find a mentor is within your existing network - who do you admire?

Finally, mentoring doesn't have to start out as a mentor relationship. Go to coffee or lunch, see how you get along with someone. People love to talk about themselves and their experience. If, after a couple of meetings, you feel they are a good fit, ask them to be a mentor for a short period of time - three months is often a good trial run. If the relationship works out, you both have the option to renew. If not, no hard feelings.