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It’s already February. If “finding a mentor” was among your list of New Year’s Resolutions, here’s an odd new way to do it. iMantri, a peer-to-peer mentoring community, promises to help you “tap into the wisdom of your peers” (Suroweicki, anyone?) and find a mentor among the crowds. “Think Match.com for professional mentoring,” the press release touts.
Color me skeptical. For many people, mentors within a company may be your best bet—they’ll know more about the culture, office politics and company outlook that could affect your getting ahead. For others, working an already-developed network of real contacts seems destined to provide more helpful folks. Beyond that, already established professional social networks such as LinkedIn seem a more likely place to look if you want to be introduced to a potential stranger-as-mentor. Maybe I’m just cynical: I have a hard time believing people are so altruistic that they’d want to volunteer their time simply to be a mentor.
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