Last Updated Aug 22, 2007 6:46 PM EDT
- Mentor -- One member of your informal advisory board should be the typical mentor. This person is several steps above you at work.
- High- Performing Peer -- This is someone who works at the same company or in the same field who is a superstar at the company. Find someone who works in a different department from you--this person should not be your competition. This is a good person to discuss office culture and etiquette questions with
- Colleague At Another Company -- This person works in your field at another company..... This is a valuable member of your team because he or she has a sense of the industry from another company's standpoint. He or she is ideal for discussing salary issues or career trajectory
Do away with the "Will you be my mentor?" line. As most people will tell you, it's a relationship that develops organically. In addition, the question, "Will you be my mentor?" presents a probably very busy person with a request that sounds vague, time-consuming, and overly formal. It's the workplace equivalent of blurting out, "Will you be my boyfriend?" The better tactic, experts say, is to seek out someone because you admire the way s/he pitches clients, writes computer code, or drafts contracts, and then approach them with a direct request.... Swinging by just to shoot the breeze isn't the savviest way to win over a mentor to be.
For more tips and advice, check out both the Forbes article and Seligson's book.