There are a variety of phases and stages that a person experiences over the course of his or her career.  Whether it’s landing your first job or getting the partner position, it’s important to have people around your that will provide professional support.

You need a mentor, but how do you find one? More importantly, how do you keep them around?

Have a Hero and Do Some Research

We all have professional heroes, whether it’s business magnate Bill Gates or someone who’s more local.  Pick a person and find out how to get in touch with them.  Now, the reality is that having Bill Gates as your professional mentor may not happen, however as you’re doing your research you’ll find lots of cool and interesting people along the way.

A Mentor Doesn’t Have to Be in Your Field

Sometimes the most-fitting, business savvy person may having nothing to do in your profession.  This can be a good thing–it gives them a broader lens of your career and your business.  Lots of business practices are universal and aren’t confined to one certain type.

Dropping the “M” Word

There’s an incredible amount of pressure in asking someone, “will you be my mentor?”  Know you’re audience and try to play it cool.  Keep it specific, so you’re not giving someone a huge task.