How do I identify and choose a mentor who can provide me with sound career guidance?

The use of mentors is a rising trend in the PR industry.

The use of mentors is a rising trend in the PR industry. When selecting one, analyze your network and create a list of successful, accomplished professionals who you believe might make good mentors.

Next, narrow down the field to those with whom you have meaningful, productive relationships. You should also evaluate the personal qualities of each, as well as their similarities and differences to you. These traits include unique insight, PR philosophy, work ethic, and a willingness to help others.

A mentoring relationship can only be successful if the mentor has sufficient bandwidth to provide counsel when asked, so make sure the individuals on your list are accessible. Most mentor relationships are based on mutual respect, so it is critical to hold the professional you ultimately select in high esteem.

Finally, reach out to one or more individuals who meet your criteria and ask them if they will serve as a mentor. Following these steps will help you recruit mentors who will give you valuable career advice.

Keith Pillow is VP at Abelson Group.

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