How a Great Mentor Can Transform Your Career


great mentor for your career imageEvery career has turning points. Every career has setbacks. Have you thought about the positive impact a great mentor could have on your career progress and lifelong success?


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide”.  The mentee, or protégé, gains wisdom, insight, and accelerated growth in a successful mentoring relationship.


If you haven’t yet experienced this career-changing relationship, don’t wait for it to happen. You can proactively seek a mentor and establish a productive relationship by following a few guidelines. I am grateful to have experienced a series of transformative mentor relationships, and can attest to their lasting value. Here are a few of the lessons I can share to help you along.


Begin with the End in Mind

Start by determining what you want from a mentoring relationship. A few ideas for you:

  • Advanced technical knowledge
  • Insight into the politics of your company or department
  • Advocacy in an aggressive or fast-paced work environment
  • Guidance on building strategic alliances
  • Increased visibility in your company or industry
  • Exposure to opportunities that challenge and boost your skills

Create Your Mentor Success Criteria

What should you look for in a mentor? I think it is important to have a success criteria developed before you take the crucial step of speaking to a potential mentor.

I have advised my coaching clients to include these traits as a starting point:

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Mutual respect
  • Wisdom
  • Industry experience
  • Connections and credibility
  • High emotional intelligence
  • Discretion and tact
  • Ability to challenge your thinking and skills
  • Insight into the strengths and potential of others


What traits would you add to your Mentor Success Criteria?

Email your list to

Subject line: Mentor Success Criteria


What did you learn from your favorite mentor, and how did it transform your career?



Do you have a great mentoring story to share? What did you learn from your favorite mentor, and how did it transform your career? Tell us your mentor success story. Subject line: Mentor Story

Next week, I will talk about where and how to find a mentor, rather than waiting for one to show up in your life!