How IT mentors can help advance your tech career

You can't beat the insight you gain from someone who is where you want to be someday.

By Rich Hein, CIO |  IT Management

So you've been introduced and are getting ready to meet with your new mentor. Keep in mind that this is a professional relationship with a business advisor, not a friendship, and it needs to be treated as such. Be on time, have specific questions in mind, keep personal items aside and do your best to keep the meeting on point. Below are 13 tips from Lodhi on how to get things moving:

Update your resume

List your goals

Establish what is expected from mentee and mentor

Identify frequency of meetings

Identify how the success of mentoring will be measured

Agree on how to connect in the interim.

Agree on ground rules: confidentiality, giving/receiving feedback and so on

Get to know each other: For example, find out how your mentor got to where he or she is in the company

Share what you hope to get out of the relationship. What things are you particularly interested in?

Share your feedback from any assessments. Share a key development area and ask for help and feedback throughout your relationship.

Share any areas of development you are working on, ask if they've run into similar challenges in their career and what they've done to address them.

What are they/you reading right now? (e.g., business books, leadership books and so on.)

Where are areas that you can help them? (e.g., reverse mentoring, research)

How often you meet, the subjects discussed and how best to stay in contact should all be discussed and agreed upon. These will be different depending on goals and scheduling. "There will be times when a short-term goal is looming and you need to meet more often," Spano says. Regardless, you should establish a schedule and be flexible.

Obtaining and working with a mentor can seem like a daunting task, but you've got to start somewhere. Look around and see what resources are available to you. You may not have to go very far. But even if you do, most IT pros who have had mentors find that the mileage was worth it. You may end up somewhere you never anticipated.

We'd love to hear about your mentoring stories be it good or bad and as always we welcome feedback.

Rich Hein is a senior writer for He covers IT careers. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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