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How to set up a mentorship program to drive career development

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employee and mentorJust about everyone has experienced office politics at some point in his or her career. For example, what do you do if a colleague steals your ideas, how do you handle a difficult boss, how should you ask for a promotion, what new projects should you volunteer to take on?

A seasoned professional who knows how things work around the company can best answer these questions. No matter the level, all employees (including yourself, of course) can benefit from finding a mentor before making those career-ending mistakes.

Here’s how to implement an official mentoring program:

The buddy system

Many forward-thinking businesses appoint a “buddy” to each new hire. From the first day through the first few months, the buddy can show the new team member the ropes.

The buddy is usually someone from the new hire’s own department, so it might be a good idea to later encourage the newbie to find a mentor in another part of the company.

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