DEAR HARRIETTE: I had been feeling kind of stuck in my career trajectory for a while now, and until recently, I couldn't figure out why for the life of me. It became clear when I had lunch with a friend of mine, who works in the same profession as me. She is successful and moving quickly along her path. When I asked her how, she said she could not have done any of it without her mentor. She went on to talk to me about why having one is crucial, and about all of the benefits having a mentor has given to her.
When my friend found out I did not have a mentor, she told me I needed to get one immediately -- in her words, "like yesterday." I think this would be a great idea, but I have no idea where to start.
Do you think mentors are a good idea? If so, what do you think I should look for in one? -- Ready to Move Forward, Wilmington, Delaware
DEAR READY TO MOVE FORWARD: I think mentors can be key in helping propel people's careers forward. Look for someone who is knowledgeable about your field of interest and who has a good reputation. Identify someone who is accessible to you, whether by a written letter asking for an informational interview or by referral. When you meet, explain your career dreams and ask if the person can provide you with guidance on how to get to your goal.