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March 2020
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TD Magazine

Don't Forget About Yourself

Establishing a mentorship is important for talent development practitioners.

Talent development professionals often spend time helping individuals tap mentoring opportunities, whether formal or informal. But they may overlook doing the same for themselves.

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In "Embrace Mentorships," Jenn Labin provides tips for talent development professionals to aid in their own mentoring success. But the tips are also applicable to anyone looking to establish a mentorship.

Individuals who work in companies with a formal mentoring program have an opportunity to connect with individuals who are eager to help, are familiar with organizational culture, and are aware of internal resources. For those who don't have such a program or those who want a mentor outside of their company, Labin offers guidance on how to find a quality mentor. To get started, develop a list of 20 individuals with whom you have some type of relationship. In addition to their name, list the aspect about them that you admire—something they're great at that you may not be.

One of these individuals could be a great fit for the mentoring relationship you seek. If not, they likely know someone who is and with whom they can connect you.

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Before reaching out to a potential mentor, make sure you know what you want to gain from the relationship. Remember, your mentoring goal doesn't need to be a professional one. For example, you may have a neighbor whose parenting skills you admire. Identify your goal, define the details, and add intention and purpose to what it means to you.

These tips were adapted from the March 2020 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

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About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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