Eight Steps to Finding the Right Mentor

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Technically, I suppose I’m an entrepreneur—I’ve been a self-employed freelance professional writer for decades.

Back when I started out—so long ago that I used to file stories by fax!—I learned virtually everything I needed to know through reading, and trial and error.

Perhaps because much of my remaining time and energy was consumed by all the work that’s involved in bringing up three kids, I never seriously considered seeking support and knowledge by joining a group of other writers. I was lucky enough not to have to drum up work—for the most part, editors called me with assignments.

It’s only been within the last few years that I finally took the plunge and joined a couple of organizations for freelance writers. 

And ever since, I’ve been smacking myself in the forehead for not forging these connections much sooner. 

One online group in particular has been wonderfully supportive, helpful and generous in answering questions, sharing advice, and serving as a sounding board.

In other words, I think I probably would have gotten a great deal out of finding a mentor in the early days of my career. And no doubt many other early- and mid-career women could, too.

So if you’re considering the idea of finding a mentor, where should you start?

I was asked to write a column answering that question for the Globe Women’s Collective newsletter. You can find out what I learned here: ‘Eight Steps for Finding the Right Mentor’.

My heartfelt thanks to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:

  • Humaira Ahmed, founder and CEO of Locelle, a Vancouver-based company that matches mentees with mentors.
  • Karen Simpson, president of Lean In Toronto, a networking group for professional women.

 

Photo by Christina Morillo Courtesy of Pexels