Thursday, April 30, 2009

The importance of a mentor

I appeared on a panel at The Minority Lawyers Conference at The Law Society in London on Saturday.

One of my fellow panelists, Amrik Kandola, a Partner in the law firm Eversheds, gave a presentation about the importance of mentoring and the impact on his career. Mentoring seems to be a forgotten benefit of networking. It is hard to underestimate the positive effect on your career or business offered by someone who has already overcome the challenges that lie ahead of you, and who has an influential network who can help you achieve your goals.

I have two mentors, one to help me with my business and the other to support my speaking career. As Amrik stressed during his talk, the emphasis is on me to keep in touch with them and share issues or discuss ideas, rather than for me to wait for the phone to ring.

One of the questions during the panel session concerned mentoring. Amrik was asked how to approach mentors and ask for their support.

The advice Amrik offered was to understand your objectives and know the profile of the person who can help you. Show enthusiasm and commitment and people will want to help you.

I'd add this thought to that. If you know who you need to approach, you'll find the links to them among your existing network.

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