Having a career mentor can be invaluable. Your mentor can help you set goals and make choices as you progress along your career path. The best mentor relationships help both parties: you gain the benefit of your mentor’s experience, and your mentor gains the benefit of seeing familiar problems through fresh eyes.
But how do you find the right mentor for you? Here’s how to examine your options and reach out to potential mentors in the legal field.
Look for people you admire.
Start a list of people in your field whose work you admire. Some of these people may be professionals you know, while others may be people you learned about through reading trade journals, attending conferences or joining groups on LinkedIn.
It’s especially important to research your field if you’re new to it. When you start a legal services career or switch into the field, take the time to find out who the top people are in the topic areas that interest you.
Don’t fear reaching out.
Many people quail at the thought of asking someone else to mentor them, particularly when they think of approaching a professional they don’t yet know. In fact, most legal professionals appreciate being asked, even if they can’t participate.
When you talk to a prospective mentor, start with a polite and formal email to introduce yourself. Briefly explain that you’re looking for a mentor, and name two or three traits about the recipient that you admire and you believe would make a good fit.
Get to know prospective mentors.
This step often starts like any networking opportunity. Find time to meet with a prospective mentor face to face. Talk about recent issues in your career field, but don’t be afraid to talk about other topics that arise as well. When you find the right mentor, you’ll know – and even if you don’t, you’ve made a connection who may prove to be a valuable member of your professional network in the future.
Legal Careers in the Greater Toronto Area
At Kent Legal, our recruiters can help you connect with some of the best law firms and legal departments in the greater Toronto area. If you’re looking for your next step on the legal support professional career ladder, contact us today.