Need help with your job search or career? We can help!

To Find A Mentor, You Must Be A Student

I was lucky. In my first job after college, I had a great mentor who took an active role in my career development. He pushed. I listened. Actually, make that 'hung on every word.' The fact that anyone would take time out of their schedule to coach a newbie like me was a gift… and I knew it. Example: When I asked for a raise, he made me “demonstrate I was worth it” by...


  • Reading a series of books (How to Win Friends and Influence People, etc.).
  • Writing a paper about what I learned from each one.
  • Finding an operational problem in the office and solving it using TQM processes. (The result was a binder of information and charts.)
Along the way, there were a lot of naysayers who thought he was just stalling because he didn’t want to pay me more or give me the promotion. In fact, many people I spoke to were borderline appalled someone would have to jump through so many hoops to earn a raise they were probably entitled to anyway. But I knew better. Eventually, I did get the promotion. I’m sure it’s not surprising that I was better prepared to tackle the new challenges because of all of the pre-work I had done in advance. Since then, my old boss has had many new professionals work under him. Yet, he’s had no official “mentee” since me. When I asked him why, he said “No students.” In other words, finding a mentor is only half the battle. After that, you must be a good student. Listen gratefully. Apply what you’ve learned to your work. Demonstrate enthusiasm so he/she feels their investment in you is meaningful. It’s not the quickest route to success by any stretch, but I promise you the journey is its own reward. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Need help with your job search or career? We can help!

At Work It Daily, we love hearing when our members land their dream jobs.

We like to call our members the "WID Warriors" because of their strength, determination, and commitment to career success.

We get hundreds of success stories from our warriors every year. This week, we're highlighting one of those warriors who recently landed the big gig.

SHOW MORE Show less