We all know we're supposed to nurture our
network. So when was the last time you reconnected with one of
Mentors are a crucial source of information
and inspiration: finding the time to connect with key mentors keeps your job
hunting network fresh and your industry knowledge and skills current. So make
time for your mentors.
We all suffer from "too-much-to-do,
too-little-time-to-do-it" syndrome so choose the relationships you nurture
wisely. Spend time brainstorming a short list of two or three key mentors to
focus your time on. You may wish to connect with a peer whose career you admire,
or identify someone who works at a company or position to which you aspire. By homing
in on mentors with information relevant to your own career aspirations, you reap
a smart return on time invested.
Next, figure out the best way to reconnect.
If you are in regular contact, suggest a lunch or drinks date for a longer
catch up. If you've let your relationship cool, consider approaching your
mentor first with an email. Craft a note with a few quick sentences that lets
your contact know what you've been up to and why you are reaching out. Make
sure you make contact for a specific reason; ask for an opinion on jobs you are
considering or request advice on a certain aspect of your career.
successful relationship is a two-way street; recognize that while you look to
your mentor for advice and career leads, that you in turn have something to
offer. Approach your relationship collaboratively; share information on
projects you've been working on that may be useful to your mentor or offer to
connect your mentor with your own up-and-coming network. Invite your mentor to industry events you
host such as panels, presentations or networking events.
We all have busy schedules, including your
mentors. So think beyond networking lunches and e-mails for opportunities to
connect; creative forums for interacting can provide maximum impact. Schedule
"walk and talk" dates for bonding while hiking, running or yes, walking. Or you
could connect over gym classes, volunteering opportunities or even while
Finally, once you're back in contact with a
mentor, keep the relationship going. While regular lunch dates may be tough to
schedule, you can follow up on any face time with periodic email updates. Maintaining
a dialogue can be as simple as forwarding interesting articles or updates about
your career from time-to-time.
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.