Take a mentor to lunch
Take a mentor to lunch

Ask successful people what their secret is, and many will tell you they regularly turn to a small cadre of mentors for career advice.

Research from Catalyst backs them up, showing that having a mentor is strongly linked to nabbing better pay and a higher-level position.

So take time to develop your personal board of advisers. This group could include former bosses, trusted colleagues, and current supervisors -- "people who will give you honest feedback and can make introductions to help advance your career," says Jodi Glickman Brown, an executive coach and the author of "Great on the Job."

Then arrange semiannual lunch meetings with each mentor. If you have a five-person team, that can easily run to $1,000 -- an investment worth making if it nurtures your career, says Glickman Brown.

  @Money - Last updated September 21 2012 02:00 PM ET
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