Q: Where can I find the best mentor to help advance my career?
A: The key is to have more than one mentor, because each can serve a different purpose. Look for:
> An internal senior mentor–someone in your office, often a partner, who can guide your professional development;
> A peer mentor–a fellow associate, who can provide candid informal advice;
> A personal life mentor–a role model who has achieved the work/life balance goals you are striving for; and
> An external mentor–someone from outside your workplace who can give you a fresh perspective.
When seeking out a mentor, many make the mistake of only looking to a direct supervisor or someone in the same department or practice area. It is important to look beyond your immediate horizon to seek mentors who are both alike and different from you. Look to people who work on your floor, who are in the same affinity group, or on a committee with you. Then take it further and think outside the workplace: social events, CLE programs, bar association committees and alumni networks are all great places to find mentors.
Often, where you least expect it, is where you will find your mentors.