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3 Ways to Build Mentorship into Your Career

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A Black woman offers mentorship to another woman as they sit in an office room with green walls and talk.

Regardless of where you are in your career, mentorship can play a pivotal role in helping you to feel motivated and engaged with your work on a daily basis.

What many social-impact professionals may not realize is that mentorship doesn’t need to follow the traditional route of a senior-level manager guiding an entry-level employee—any and everyone can benefit from seeking out guidance from a fellow social-impact professional.

If you’re curious about how to build mentorship into your career, consider these three suggestions:

Join a group of like-minded professionals

While you’re likely to find common threads among colleagues in the office, it can be especially encouraging to find a network of individuals who hold similar positions at different organizations. Not only will this help you to make new connections and develop valuable relationships, but you may even discover new professional opportunities in your field.

Here are a few resources to get started:

Pro Tip: If you’re interested in meeting other social-impact professionals, use Idealist to search for nearby events that pique your interest. Don’t forget to narrow your search using relevant filters!

Pursue mentorship through professional development opportunities

Mentorship and networking doesn’t always need to be restricted to face-to-face interactions; in fact, you may find it even more appealing and convenient to seek out mentors in the digital space.

If you’re already engaging with NTEN’s online community groups and you’re current with webinars on platforms like Nonprofit Tech for Good, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, Nonprofit Hub, and Blackbaud, step up your involvement by:

Oftentimes, you needn't look beyond your laptop to build relationships with peers and potential mentors.

Become a mentor

With all of this knowledge gained, one of the most rewarding things you can do is pass it on. It may happen naturally if you find yourself supervising interns or managing a team, but if you don’t have any direct reports, try taking your knowledge to some of the same channels you used to find a mentor when you were newer to the workforce.

  • Look for opportunities to lead webinars or online courses.
  • Contact your alma mater to see if there are mentoring opportunities available.
  • Find a professional group or association such as the Women’s Foreign Policy Group or a nearby YNPN chapter where you can offer your services as mentor or adviser.

Seeking out mentorship doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity; it can be easy to find an arrangement or opportunity that works with your schedule, interests, and specialty.

As you progress professionally, the role of mentorship in your life may change shape, but it’s something you can continue to incorporate into your social-impact career for lasting results.


About the Author | Yoona Wagener is a freelance writer and WordPress developer who believes in the value of nonlinear career paths. She has experience in academic publishing, teaching English abroad, serving up customer support to software end users, writing online help documentation, and mission-driven nonprofit marketing and communications.

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