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Critical Questions

By Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen

The Career Connector


Mentors give valuable advice, introduce you to life-changing contacts and opportunities, and guide by example. It’s to your advantage to have a mentor, and some even say you can’t get ahead at all without one.

Q: “What advice/tips do you have for finding a potential mentor and asking them to be your mentor?” – Melor S. in Silver Spring, MD

A: First, examine your career so far and where you want to go—next quarter, next year, in five years. Identify gaps in your skills and experience, as well as any you would like to acquire. Basically, create a career map. (Our Career Mapping workshop is offered several times throughout the year; you can click here for our workshop schedule.)

Which items on your career map do you want your mentors—yes, more than one!—to help you with? Do you need someone to help you find a job? Excel in your current role? Strengthen your network? Advance within your organization or industry? Or overhaul your career completely? Knowing what you want will make it easier to find the right people to ask.





Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen is the president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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