Find realistic mentoring. Be assured that it is realistic to soak up valuable wisdom from mentors, even when you can’t find people willing to commit to a formal mentoring relationship with you. Instead of expecting one or two people to meet with you one-on-one regularly, look for moments of exchange with people who offer nuggets of wisdom you can apply. Identify potential mentors by asking yourself two key questions: “Who do I admire?” and “Who do I need?”. Realize that people are often more accessible than you might think, do go ahead and approach them. Observe them at work. Ask lots of questions whenever opportunities arise. Thank people for whatever help they give you, and consider what you might offer them in return for a win-win relationship between you. Be creative about finding mentoring from sources beyond one-on-one interactions as well. For example, when you read a book or hear a lecture, take notes.

Find hope when your journey doesn’t look like you expected. Understand that unexpected difficulties can be gifts in disguise if you approach them as opportunities to grow. Fully embrace every surprise you encounter in your career and ask God what He wants you to learn from it. Realize that even though situations often turn out differently than you think they will, they often end up better than you expect. Invite God to transform even the worst circumstances into something good that will align with His purpose for you. Remember that your unique contributions are valuable to the world, and that any task you do following God’s calling will is significant. Do your best to use your time, talents, and treasures wisely so you’re directing these precious resources where they’ll do the most good. Remember that serving others is a vital part of fulfilling your purpose. Don’t give up during tough times; rely on God’s power to help you endure and complete your journey well.

Adapted from Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos: 10 Strategies for Stepping Up to Success and Satisfaction at Work, copyright 2006 by Lynette Lewis.  Published by W Publishing Group, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.

Lynette Lewis has been inspiring women on the topics of vision and purpose for more than 20 years. Her eclectic career has taken her from PR and fundraising at a major university to the senior marketing leader for the National Women's Initiative at Deloitte & Touche in New York City. Lynette maintains an active speaking schedule through Maxwell's Maximum Impact Speakers bureau, NCAA teams, and many national and international corporate women's forums.