To identify a mentor, do the following:

  • Request a meeting with a potential mentor. Let the person know you want to discuss career issues.  Request a given amount of time. Think about who you turn to now for advice on how to be an effective facility manager. You may already have a mentor whom you do not call by that formal name, but who is actually serving the same functions. If you are typical, then there are probably several different people from whom you receive different kinds of support, feedback, and advice. Does any one of them stand out as someone with whom you would like more time or to be more involved? If so, ask. Most people are pleased when someone asks them to be a mentor.
  • Reflect on what kind of help you need. Are you looking mostly for information about how the system works, about how to develop your facility management competencies, or about how to handle a particularly challenging situation? Or do you want help in identifying your strengths and skills, and in setting goals based on those?
  • Identify some people who might be able to help. Whether or not a particular individual proves to be a full-fledged mentor, they may be able to answer  a particular questions or spend a couple of hours with you discussing a dilemma you are facing.  Ask the people you already talk with regularly who they would suggest, and watch to see who in your organization has the qualities and knowledge to provide the kind of assistance you have identified. Recently retired facility managers may also be a good choice for a mentor.

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