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I recently had the opportunity to share lunch with an impressive young woman. (And can I just say, our community is so fortunate to be filled with some amazing young talent! Now, will our community embrace them, empower them and let them grow…. More on that later.)

Over lunch, the topic of mentoring was brought up. She’s seeking a mentor but wasn’t sure where to look and is not from northeast Indiana either. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I had good advice on where she could seek a mentor. When I’ve had the opportunity to mentor or be mentored, it was organized by a group or school.

What are your thoughts? Where you would send someone looking for a mentor? Should it be organic? Do you pursue a mentor through recommendations and connections?

And then once you’ve found a mentor, what’s been your experience with making the relationship work for both individuals? Is it best if there is a defined time-frame for the mentor relationship?

My recommendations included the following:

  • Research the boards of directors of organizations you support.
  • If you belong to a church, consider asking through their women’s ministry.
  • Don’t limit yourself to a particular age. Anyone with more experience or a different path than your own can offer some knowledge.
  • Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Seek someone who can fill any areas where you need support.
  • Ask the opinion of others. If you can begin with something like, “I’m looking for someone in _____ or related industry, who excels at _____, and is interested in seeing others grow,” more than likely your current connections can introduce you to someone with that skill set.

This post is filled with more questions than normal but I’d appreciate feedback. Since my personal experiences vary greatly, I’d like to provide additional guidance to this young woman whom I believe give as much or more the the mentor through the relationship.