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What Can a Mentor Do For Me?

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2018

Dear Eula Mae:

I’ve been a legal secretary in a medium-sized firm for about three years now.  I started as a data-entry person and the more I read and learn, the more I know I want to have a career as a legal support person.  I love this work!  The days go by so fast and I want to know more!  Do you think having a mentor could help me build a career?



— Career Decisions



Dear Career Decisions:

One of the greatest things in life is knowing what you want.  You have discovered that the journey becomes such a pleasure that it is not like work at all.  

What a great idea to have a mentor when you love your profession so much and are ready to commit! 

 

There are two things you need to know about having a mentor. One is what a mentor can do for you and your career and the other is your role in this relationship. 


A mentor is a sounding board. A mentor is there to listen and advise, not to tell you what to do.  Your job is to bring your questions and circumstances to the mentor as well as solutions to the issues.  

Mentors have experience and vision.  A mentor can point you in the right direction to help you take the next step that will move you further in your career.

You must respect the relationship with your mentor. A mentor can introduce you to the right people to help your career and should you take a project or job with that team, your duty is to behave professionally.  That means don’t have a hissy-fit and quit the next day. It reflects badly on you and your mentor. 

NALS can help you find a mentor through the interactive community online, through meeting people at the conferences, and of course on Facebook. 

Working with a mentor demonstrates a long-term commitment to yourself, your career, and the relationship.  Your mentor could be your friend for a lifetime and you will be able to develop your own career with a little nudge and the experience from the mentor in your pocket.  One day you will be a mentor too.

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