Throughout my career, I've tried to develop professional relationships with more experienced journalists. After all, I know that working with a mentor is important to your development and advancement. But until a recent project researching mentor relationships, I never realized I've been going about it all wrong.
You see, I have cultivated mentors like me, people I felt comfortable with and who generally ended up being good friends. But now I learn that I should have been more strategic about the qualities and experience I sought in a mentor. You can learn more from people who are different from you, who have different perspectives and experiences. In fact, I could have networked my way to a well-suited professional, instead of just relying on people who happened to be in my work orbit. You can be sure I will be changing my ways in the future.
How have you identified and worked with mentors? Did you make the same mistake I did?