Understandably, the subject of this could cause a bit of confusion. Most of you, at this point, would consider personal role models to be parents and prominent figures. However, when it comes to your own professional development, who can you look up to?

A role model, from a business standpoint, can simply be defined as they person who you can look to for any information. They serve as a mentor and can provide the blueprint for a work ethic you would be proud to follow.

With the volatility of the professional world, however, finding that role model, for some of us, has become increasing difficult. It’s almost impossible if you happen to find yourself in an organizational role that has been newly created and that no other person has any previous knowledge of what is entailed in your position.

Do you have to go it alone? Of course not. It truly is incumbent upon you to seek out knowledge. And realistically, that knowledge shouldn’t be too hard to find.

The first step in finding a professional role model is to seek out professional organizations that cater to your industry. Don’t be afraid that the people you meet work for other companies. There’s a good chance you will come across veterans of the industry who have been in the same position you’re in right now. And most of them are gracious with their time and would be more than happy to be of assistance.

Once you’ve been able to establish contact with a potential professional role model, take it slowly. Nothing turns people off more than inundating them with a thousand questions all at once. There will be plenty of time for that in the future.

Instead, consider scheduling something informal, like a lunch or coffee. Nothing breaks the ice like a sit-down at the local Starbucks.

Once you’ve eased into your professional relationship, you will find that your role model can be your greatest key to success.

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