In the 12 years I’ve been with AT&T, I have led training for a variety of roles, from technical to leadership, and mentored alongside them. I believe that the collective knowledge of those who have been around should be shared with the next generations that are coming behind us. Mentorship is a critical component of fostering this culture of growth, learning, and the passage of knowledge.

Finding a mentor

At one point or another, many of us have had someone who has influenced our career paths, whether it was providing feedback, sharing their wisdom, or just being a listening ear. When you reflect on those truly meaningful connections, a trusted relationship was formed that included a psychologically safe environment. But how do you find that for yourself?

Searching for a mentor doesn’t always come easy. Not just anyone fits the bill. You might think that finding someone with a title you aspire to have, an expertise you want, or a history that you’d love to learn from, is the end/all be/all. But I will tell you that one of the most important things you should look for in a mentor is time. Do they have the time to invest in you and build a relationship? Secondarily, look for trust, respect, and accountability – to really build that mental safe space that you feel comfortable sharing your career journey in. Simply put, are they a good fit for YOU?

In addition to your mentor, build a network of people around you who are aware of your goals and aspirations. You never know when they may have an opportunity to cheerlead your name in a conversation you may not be part of.

Once you find the right fit, you should first ask yourself, “What are my goals and where do I see myself in the next 2-3 years?” Once you level set how you expect to get to that goal, you can also identify what is stopping you from getting there. Use this as a starting point of discussion with your mentor – they might see things that you don’t, like what roadblocks are ahead. Being open to receiving that feedback is key.

You’re ready to get started, but wondering how?

AT&T understands the importance of personal growth and finding those who will support you in your journey. We have an internal site that helps you navigate finding a mentor and tips on building the relationship. If you want to become a mentor yourself, that’s there too. No matter what side of mentorship you’re looking to jump into, getting started can be as simple as saying “hello”!

Ready to further your lifelong learning alongside an incredible career?

Start Your #LifeAtATT