Get a Promotion 8: Fit In the Organization—Find a Mentor

MentoringThis continue our series on actions that can help you get a promotion within the company

The first step to getting a promotion is doing the job management wants done—and more. The second step involves fitting into the work team or organization. Fitting in includes abiding by the written and unwritten rules, the organizational culture, and getting along with co-workers. A good mentor will help you learn what you need to fit in.

Traits of a Mentor

Mentor Scout defines “A mentor is a coach, guide, tutor, facilitator, councilor and trusted advisor. A mentor is someone willing to spend his or her time and expertise to guide the development of another person.” Mentors help you fit in.

The University of Washington published What is a Mentor?,

  • “A mentor may share with a mentee (or protégé) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling.
  • A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources.
  • The mentor role may change as the needs of the mentee change.
  • Some mentoring relationships are part of structured programs that have specific expectations and guidelines: others are more informal.”

How to Find and Cultivate a Mentor

The American Psychological Association lists characteristics of effective mentoring to include “the ability and willingness to

  • value the mentee as a person;
  • develop mutual trust and respect;
  • maintain confidentiality;
  • listen both to what is being said and how it is being said;
  • help the mentee solve his or her own problem, rather than give direction;
  • focus on the mentee’s development and resist the urge to produce a clone.”

Lindsey Pollack authored Seek a Mentor on Wet She advises:

  • Seek a mentor in your existing network
  • Ask a focused and informed question about something you need to learn about the organization
  • Be specific about the kind of help you want
  • Meet any way you can
  • Ask your mentor to make you accountable

Friday we will discuss how to build an internal network and use it to get a promotion

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