How to Find a Mentor
We’re getting ready for this Saturday’s 11th Annual New Dentist Committee Awards Luncheon taking place at the 27th New Dentist Conference. Several of the awards honor accomplishments in mentoring.
No matter where you are in the arc of your career, there is no substitute for a one-on-one mentoring relationship. If you are ready to find a mentor, here are some suggestions, originally published in ADA New Dentist News:
Get Clear on What you Want to Learn Saying, “I don’t know what to do with my career,” is a broad question, difficult for a mentor to help you solve. More helpful are the concrete, practical questions you may face. Are you looking for someone who can help you navigate the options for practicing in an FQHC? Hoping for help in charting a path to leadership in organized dentistry? Seeking a dentist with a knack for developing a practice from scratch? Defining the kind of information you’d like to receive will make it easier to begin your search.
Get Clear on What you Have to Offer A good mentor can help you grow past limitations and reach your full potential. Mentors want to feel needed, but that doesn’t mean you will need advice on everything! Do a self-inventory, and prepare a mental list that identifies your strengths as well as the areas in which you’d like to grow.
Meet In-Person, Maintain Online Email and social media are great ways to keep a relationship going, but to get one started, you’ll need face-to-face encounters. Attending state or local dental meetings is an ideal way to meet successful dentists in a low-stress environment. Some dental societies offer formal mentoring programs as well. Give your state or local dental society a call to see what’s available in your area. Find a directory of state and local dental societies at ADA.org/societydirectories.
If you are currently being mentored, and it’s going well, congratulations! Where did you and your mentor meet? Let us know in the comments.