A great way to excel in your career is to find a mentor who can help guide you through decisions, can act as a sounding board, and can open new doors for you.
Mentors can also be used to help you find professional happiness, personal happiness, and to open your eyes to different alternatives that you may not have considered before.
The best mentors are those that have developed organically. Look around for people who you look up to. Ideally, they are 5-20 years your senior, and are in a place in which you would like to be one day. Once you have identified this person, let the organic growth begin. Invite them out for a 15-30 minute coffee, or phone call. And then do this every 3-6 months. Be sure to express your appreciation, and follow up with a small gift or hand-written note.
And remember, in 5-10 years, when someone invites you to a coffee…say “yes”.