Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Finding Women Mentors

Q.3 EVERYONE TELLS ME it's important to have a mentor, but as a woman I am having a hard time finding ways to make myself known to women I feel are important to my career, much less getting them too take an interest in me. Is it really important and how can I make it happen?

A, IT IS IMPORTANT, according to the Business and Professional Women's Foundation. The organization has long supported mentoring as a way to best build women leaders of all ages, and its research indicates that mentored individuals perform better on the job, advance more rapidly within an organization, and report more job and career satisfaction. The best to gain women execs' attention is an honest one. Determine which woman you feel may make a good "fit" with your ambitions and ask her to lunch. Prepare an outline of your goals and aspirations, and when you are alone together, explain them to her and ask if there are any ways she believes she can help you attain them. Most women executives understand your situation and will help. The reason is that wise executives know the best way to get ahead is to prepare capable people to follow them, so they will be free to accept advancement too.

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