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HBR Guides to Managing Your Career Collection (6 Books) by Harvard Business Review

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Chapter 6

Finding the Right Mentors

by Diane Coutu

If you’re waiting for a wise, dedicated mentor to recognize your potential and lead you down the yellow brick road to happiness and fortune, you’ll be waiting a long time—and even then you’re likely to be disappointed. To exploit your opportunities to grow and move ahead in your work and your life, your best bet will always be to take matters into your own hands and seek out the people who can help you.

Before you decide which ones to turn to, though, you’ll have to figure out what kinds of mentors will best meet your needs. In my own long experience on both sides of the mentoring relationship, I’ve come across three distinct types:

The co-mentor: This can be anyone—a peer, a colleague, a friend—who ...

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