In Greek mythology, when Odysseus sailed off to Troy he entrusted the raising of his son Telemachus to his old friend Mentor. Mentor’s primary job was to make sure Telemachus grew up to be a wise leader, which he did by teaching, counseling, challenging, and encouraging him.

That’s what your mentor will do for you while you’re building your career.

Michael Masterson has often written about the lessons he’s learned from his own mentors. And he’s given you specific advice on how to reach out to knowledgeable people in your industry to find one of your own.

He’s also written about the mentor/mentee relationship from another perspective, in articles about how important it is for entrepreneurs to find and groom superstar employees. But maybe you passed over those articles, because you didn’t recognize how that advice applied to you.

Well, think about it. When your boss is looking for a superstar to help him grow his business – and eventually take over his responsibilities so he can move on to other things that interest him – he’s looking for you. He just doesn’t know it yet.

So, yes, write letters to successful business leaders who might be interested in helping you achieve your career goals. But don’t let that blind you to an opportunity that may be as close as a few desks away from yours.

Turn yourself into an outstanding employee – and your boss’s number one protege – by following this advice from Automatic Wealth for Grads… and Anyone Else Just Starting Out:

  • Understand how you can help your boss be more successful at his job. (Hint: Ask him.)
  • Focus on what’s important to him. (Hint: It will have something to do with improving the company’s bottom line.)
  • Don’t be afraid to say no to requests that will not contribute to his (and your) success.
  • Keep improving your knowledge and skills.

And, very important, communicate your progress. Michael puts it this way:

“Doing your job well is good. And getting better at it as time passes is better. But unless you let your boss and other powerful people at work know about your progress, you can’t be sure they will help you. Make it a habit to update your superiors, in writing, on the challenges you face and the objectives you’ve achieved.”

For more details on helping your mentor find you… get the book.

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