1. Parenting

How to Spot the Best Work Mentor

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Working mothers are our children's first teachers, but when it comes to finding a mentor for us to emulate and learn from in the workplace, it can be a daunting task. For this reason, working mothers need to choose our mentors wisely. Mentors could be anyone from a college professor or boss, to a friend or successful relative who can illustrate how to climb the corporate ladder, and even break the glass ceiling. A mentor doesn't necessarily have to be in the same business as you.

When seeking a mentor, it's important to look for someone who can truly guide you in your chosen business. Below are seven qualities you should look for in a work mentor:

Confidence:Your mentor should be confident in her career abilities, work performance and role in the workplace. Whether you're an artist or a corporate attorney, a mentor needs to display the confidence it takes to be successful in her chosen career.

Talent:A mentor needs to also display a talent or flair for the work she does. In order to best illustrate to you how to succeed she must have the talent needed to make it in her chosen career.

Aggressiveness: Don't seek advice or mentorship from a shy, meek, quiet individual. A mentor needs to have the ability to go after what she wants in business. Aggressive businesswomen are often those who climb higher on the corporate ladder and achieve an executive career.

Ability to Work Under Pressure: You can learn the most from a mentor who knows how to deal with the inevitable pressures the workplace poses at any job.

Positive Attitude: People with negative dispositions never make it far in the business world. Negativity often leads to remaining stagnent in one position for a long period of time. Seek out a mentor who has a positive outlook on life, and sees the glass as half full -- not half empty.

Leadership Qualities:The best mentors will display those qualities that can be used to lead a team to success. You want to have a mentor who can illustrate to you how to take charge in the workplace and have employees respect you.

Goal Oriented: Mentors are successful often because they set goals for themselves and devise ways to attain these goals. You want to learn from a mentor who is successful at goal setting.

Once you have identified a mentor who displays the right qualities, then you can begin to learn from her. Some helpful workplace knowledge you'd like to learn from your chosen mentor should include the following:

The keys to success in the workplace. You want to learn from your mentor about how to reach the top. This may come in the form of useful tips she has learned though experience, or how she did it in her particular industry, but the important part is that you take these helpful tools and put them into practice.

A plan for promotion. While you can learn how your mentor climbed the corporate ladder, you can also seek from her ways for you to accomplish the same. This can be anything from tried and true study results from your college professor's dissertation, to tips from your mentor's personal experience in the workplace.

Tips for being a team player. Team players go far in the workplace, and it's likely your mentor has succeeded in this realm. For this reason, you want to ask for ways you can be the best participant in all team efforts. In many cases, this will include working hard with all team players, trying to be accommodating to all team members' needs and being as creative as possible.

Smart networking tactics.Mentors should be adept at networking, which often leads to better positions, and if you're lucky, higher paying jobs for the future. Talk to your mentor about key ways to make contacts in your particular industry. From going to conferences and seminars to keeping in touch with old co-workers, there are many ways to network in the business world today.

Learn how to sell yourself. Mentors can teach you how to be your own best spokesperson. You want to sell you best qualities to employers. This includes ways to remind your current employer about how valuable you are to the company. This might include everything from an updated bio that promotes your strong points, to asking your boss for quarterly evaluations that will help showcase to him or her your most recent achievements.

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