When No Mentor Is Better Than One

Got a mentor? You oughta. But there are times when a mentor can actually hurt you rather than help you.

These tips, from MainStreet.com, all refer to mentors you get within your company, which is the more common form of mentorship.

But even those relationships can turn toxic: if your mentor is dressing you down in front of coworkers, or if you two end up on the opposite side of an interoffice turf war, you could be in trouble.

There are ways a mentor can mean well but not deliver the goods, too: if she is too busy to return your phone calls or if he gives bad advice, it may be time to end the relationship.

Or you could go the entrepreneur route: rather than dump your mentor to replace her with someone else, seek out three or four people you trust and get help from them in rotation. It helps keep one person from feeling overloaded and introduces you to a variety of opinions. Hey, if it works for startups, it can work for you, right?