If you’re just starting out in the business world or thinking about making a big career shift, it’s important to find the right advice to help you succeed. Unlike well-meaning friends, a good mentor can provide honest, critical advice and guidance instead of just telling you what you want to hear.

businesswomen meeting

Having a mentor carries a certain cachè – it’s a sign you take your career, small business, or side hustle seriously enough to seek outside advice and guidance. But what does having a mentor really mean? And what should you do once you have one?

Effectively building and maintaining mentoring relationships requires “pre-work” that may feel icky (keep reading), as well as a willingness to be vulnerable and listen — traits that don’t come naturally to many of us, particularly if we’re nervous about starting a new relationship. Consulting firm KPMG says 79 percent of women lack confidence seeking mentors. Time to turn the tides.

Look outside traditional views of mentorship to find the inspiration and support you need — what’s important is finding the right mentoring mix for you. Ready for some advice? Check out these tips for making your mentorships matter.

How do you make the most of your mentorships? Share your tips with us @BritandCo.

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