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Author Archives: Zebra Pen

artistic watercolor bookmark craft and Zebra MILDLINER pens

Make Watercolor Bookmarks with @crafticland

Today’s tutorial is all about crafting with your stash in maybe some unexpected ways!

Did you know that Zebra MILDLINERS are water based and can be used to create watercolor effects? Well, now you do!

Follow this tutorial by @crafticland on Instagram to make some cute and simple bookmarks using a few supplies you may already have on hand.

So, pick your favorite MILDLINER pack and let’s get started!

Step 1 – Let’s Get Ready!

crafting supplies on pink background

First thing’s first. Prep your work area with all your materials and some paper towel so you can clean your brush when changing colors.

In this project, @crafticland used 4 Zebra MILDLINER colors – green, gold, magenta, and blue green, plus a Zebra ClickArt pen in black.

Feel free to select whatever colors you prefer and let’s get started!

Step 2 – Creating Shapes

Before you start watercoloring, you’ll need to create a pattern to color in.

Using washi tape, start with creating a rectangular border and then add the stripes, as pictured above.

Feel free to play with the number and width of the stripes.

Step 3 – Coloring Stripes

Get your Zebra MILDLINERS out! Using the bold tip, color in the stripes.

You can color them in using a repeating pattern or just pick a random color – it’s up to you!

Step 4 – Watercolor Stripes

Now, let’s start the watercoloring process!

This step is a little tricky since you need to control the amount of water you use.

Get your water brush and dip it lightly into water. You don’t want to load your brush with too much water, or it will dilute the marker too much.

If the color is too dark for your liking, add a little bit more water until it looks just right!

Step 5 – Matching Borders

After your watercolor layer is dried, gently remove the washi tape border. Now it’s time for adding details!

Using the fine point of the Zebra MMILDLINER, draw a dashed border around each stripe using the matching color. You can also use a contrasting color if you’d like – the possibilities are endless!

Step 6 – Add a Quote

With your ClickArt pen, you can write a nice quote or message for whoever you’re gifting this bookmark to.

Seen here, is the Craftic motto “What will you make today?”.

Step 7 – Add Complimentary Layer

Now that your art is ready, it’s time to set it up to be a bookmark!

Find some pretty scrapbook or cardstock paper that compliments your artwork.

Cut the paper so it’s slightly taller and wider than your artwork. Make sure to leave extra space at the top so you have enough room for the bookmark hole where the tassel will go.

Step 8 – Finishing Touches!

Alright, we’re at the last step! Punch your bookmark and add a cute tassel made out of yarn or embroidery thread.

As a final step (not pictured), you can laminate your bookmarks to make them extra sturdy and water resistant.

These bookmarks make excellent gifts so make as many as you’d like and share them!

Zebra Pen gel pens posed nex to notebook and coffee top down image

How to Make a Good Impression at Work

Hard work is usually recognized, but even productive, engaged employees feel lost in the crowd sometimes. In a busy work environment where everyone pulls their weight, how do you stand out in a good way?

Piling on overtime will likely get you noticed, but for many people work-life balance gets difficult to maintain when working beyond 40-50 hours a week. If you’re hoping for a promotion or simply want to make a good impression on your manager, these easy tips will make a big difference without the mental overload.

Ask for Feedback

Most managers juggle multiple responsibilities. Even if they have the best intentions, they may not remember to compliment your latest report or send pointers for your upcoming sales pitch.

Be proactive! Reach out to your boss and ask for feedback. Remember to respect their time and be specific – Instead of a general “How am I doing?” request a review of a particular project you’ve recently completed, or ask for advice on how to improve a crucial skill. Call, email, or set up an appointment, just use the preferred method of communication between you.

They’ll appreciate your interest in self growth, and you’ll show them you value their opinion. It’s a win-win.

Use Professional Gear

Dress to impress is common advice, but you may not realize the same concept applies to office supplies. Ditch the basic pens and composition books from your school days and upgrade to something more professional.

The smooth, fast-drying Zebra STEEL G-350 Gel Retractable Pen is a cost-effective place to start. It writes like a dream with ultra-smooth gel ink that doesn’t smear or smudge, plus the sturdy metal barrel stands up to long days at the office. If you’re feeling extra fancy, take it to the next level with the even sleeker STEEL G-450 or the ultimate STEEL G-750. A leather-bound or hardcover notebook completes the picture.

Remember that screens can be distracting. Unless you need to access your laptop for a meeting, bringing your professional-quality pen and paper instead will show you’re there to listen. Likewise, if you are meeting remotely, try sitting away from your keyboard and mouse. Take notes on action items and important talking points, and don’t be afraid to ask the presenter to pause on a slide or repeat a key phrase.

Another pro tip? Always carry an extra pen. When a coworker or manager needs to borrow one, you’ll be well prepared, and you’ll get brownie points for having something worthy of your profession.

Study Your Industry

Reading books, blogs, and white papers about your industry will show your managers you are motivated to stay on top of trends and new technology. Or, if you don’t like to read, watch videos, listen to podcasts, or enroll in online courses. Many resources are available for free.

While you don’t want to flood your boss or coworkers with suggestions, when you come across a particularly helpful or relevant piece of content, share it! Offer a summary of the main points, provide a link to the source material, and add your own insight on how the information you’ve learned relates to your business.

Stay Cool

Tensions often run high in a busy office. You may be stressed out over tight deadlines when your manager drops yet another high priority task in your lap. You may be dealing with differing opinions on which direction to take a new initiative you’re driving. Or you may find your work style clashes with a coworker on a joint project. Whatever the case, you’re feeling frustrated and tempted to say – or type – a few choice words.

If you’re in a meeting or a one-on-one conversation and you feel your temper rise, take a deep breath. Ask for a minute to collect your thoughts. Try to speak calmly and logically instead of emotionally. Don’t make a discussion an argument, and if you feel that’s what it’s turning into, ask for more than a minute. Be honest. Say you need time to think so you can provide a productive response.

If you receive a challenging email or text, take some time to cool down before you reply. Write out your thoughts in a Word or Google document, take a half hour to work on something else, then come back to it. Chances are you’ll have some edits.

You should be able to express your opinions openly, as long as you do so professionally. Be assertive, not aggressive, and treat your coworkers and managers with respect. This will earn you respect in turn.

Watch the Clock

We don’t mean to count the hours until Friday. Everyone runs late on occasion, but punctuality is a plus in any workplace.

Show up for meetings on time. If you’re running the meeting, start and end on time as well. When it’s your turn to speak in a group setting, try to consolidate your comments and be conscientious of the fact that your coworkers may also need a few minutes to express their opinions. Don’t take up more than your fair share, and don’t bring up subjects that don’t apply to most of the attendees.

The same concepts apply to emails and messages. Organize your thoughts and try to write clearly and concisely, and make sure all the recipients should be included on the thread. When in doubt, ask. If you aren’t sure, send your manager a quick note asking if they want to be CC’d on emails relating to a project. They’ll be happy you took the time to ask, whether the answer is yes or no.

holiday craft image featuring small colored trees and decorated tags

Holiday Table Settings by Shelly Kim

It’s time to create some fun Holiday themed art projects including napkin tags, utensil holders, centerpieces, and so much more! These crafts by Shelly Kim from @lettersbyshells will add the finishing touch to any table setting!

Centerpiece Tag Templates

Materials

Feel free to create your own centerpiece tags or feel free to print and use this template.

Instructions

Step 1: Using the Zebra Zensations Double-Sided Brush Pen, hand letter your favorite word in the center of the tag. Note: feel free to sketch the word with pencil first.

Tag templates with Zebra pen supplies

Step 2: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter, draw some tear-dropped shaped leaves.

Step 3: Next, draw a cluster of berries, stars and single berries.

 

Step 4: Using the Zebra ClickArt Retractable Marker Pen, draw some offset outlines of the individual illustrations and add some lines around the lettering.

Here are some other centerpiece tag examples using a similar technique!

Step 5: Yay, the centerpiece tags are now ready to be used! To add the finishing touches, punch a hole in the tags, string some ribbon and hang on your Holiday Bottlebrush Trees!

holiday craft image featuring small colored trees and decorated tags

Merry & Bright Placemat

Materials

Feel free to create your own placemat design and use the template provided as inspiration. Or, feel free to print and use the template as a coloring sheet.

Instructions

Step 1: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter, start coloring the leaves and berries in various colors!

Step 2: Next, color in the lettering illustration!

Step 3: Cut out the placemat template and yay! The placemat is now ready to be used!

Ornament Napkin Tags

Materials

Note: Create your own napkin tags or feel free to print and use this template.

Instructions

Step 1: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter (bullet-tip side), draw some wavy lines in various colors using the ornament napkin tag template.

Step 2: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter, color in the sections.

Step 3: Using the Zebra Zensations Double-Sided Brush Pen, finish off the ornament napkin tag by lettering your guest’s name.

Here are some other fun examples!

 

Holiday Ornament Project from @twinkleplansherday

Create Holiday Ornaments using Zebra Pen metallic ink brush pens and wooden circles available at most major craft stores.

Materials

  • Wooden circle from craft store
  • Pencil
  • Twine

Instructions

Step 1: Start by penciling a holiday sentiment and design.

Step 2: Letter your sentiment using the copper or red-colored pen. Remember when using brush pens, increase pressure with downward strokes and decrease pressure with upward strokes. You may want to practice a few times on scrap paper beforehand.

Erase any pencil marks.

Step 3: Using the silver pen, add strokes on the left side of each letter to create a shadow effect.

Step 4: Add a circle border with the green brush metallic pen and add teardrop “leaves” by gently pressing the brush on its side.

Step 5: Add small “berries” using the red brush pen.

Add some twine, and you’re finished. This makes a great gift topper too!

 

Make Holiday Gift Tags with @twinkleplansherday

Make some decorative holiday tags using Metallic Ink brush pens by Zebrapen. It’s easier than you’d think!

Materials

  • Black cardstock
  • Twine

Instructions

Step 1: Cut out black cardstock using a tag template and punch a hole on top.

Step 2: Using freshly fallen leaves that are not yet crisp, paint the underside using metallic ink brush pens. Turn over and press firmly onto the tags.

Step 3: Experiment using different leaves, colors and placement.

Step 4: Add twine and label using Metallic ink Sarasa Clip pens.

Step 5: Attach your gift tags to carefully wrapped presents for loved ones and enjoy!

Fall-themed Napkin Tags by @lettersbyshells.

Put the finishing touch on your Thanksgiving table with these crafty fall-themed napkin tags from Shelly Kim at @lettersbyshells!

Materials:

Materials: Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter or Zebra ClickArt Retractable Marker Pen and Card Stock or Mixed Media Paper for the napkin tags.

Note: feel free to create your own napkin tag designs and use the template provided as inspiration or feel free to print and use the template as a coloring sheet!

Click here to download the Napkin Tag Template.

Step 1 (optional): Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter (bullet-tip side), start outlining or coloring in the illustrations provided in the template.

Step 2: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter, draw some oval/circle shapes! These will be the pumpkin illustrations.

Step 3: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter (bullet-tip side), draw some leaves in various Fall-themed colors!

Step 4: Using the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter (bullet-tip side), draw some stars and dots to fill the negative space.

Step 5: Using the Zebra Funwari Brush Pen or Zebra Zensations Brush Pen, outline the pumpkins, leaves, stars, and dots.

Step 6: To add the finishing touches, punch a hole in the tags and string some ribbon.

Yay, the napkin tags are now ready to be used!

Halloween Crafts

Mini Banner

Can you believe it’s almost time for the spookiest night of the year?! It’s Halloween and all the monsters, ghosts, ghouls and creatures of the night are coming out to join us! To welcome them and your guests to the party, how about a simple custom banner just for you.

Materials:

2 Inch Punch

3.5 Inch Scalloped Punch

Twine/Rope

Cardstock Paper (Black and White)

Single Hole Punch

ZebraPen ClickArt Pens

Stick on googly eyes

Instructions:

First, we’ll gather up all our supplies. I like to use a 2 inch punch for my white cardstock paper and I cut it out three times. You can also use scissors to cut some round paper as well.

I wanted it to really pop, so I decided to also do three punches from a 3.5 inch scalloped punch on black cardboard paper. Then, to give it a little halloween monster flare, I stuck some googly eyes to the top and glued the white cardstock cutout to the black cardstock cutout. What cute little monsters for your banner!

To make these little monsters banner friendly, use your one hole punch to punch a hole at the very top of the black cardstock where you want your rope or twine to go through.

Next, we’re going to decorate the banner with some ZebraPen Clickart pens. These are absolutely perfect because they have a bullet tip, they are retractable, and they give a great vibrant POP to the banner. I’m going with “BOO” on the banner and added a couple little gold tassels too.

After adding the main letters, I went back in with another color and added a shadow to each letter. This just gives it a little extra something. I love how it turned out!

Take some twine or ribbon, and you can use glue dots to keep them in place if you are so inclined. 

Put it all together and it makes the perfect background for your table setting or lay it on the table for a little flair!

To finish off your amazing Halloween cupcakes, you’ll need a cupcake topper! Don’t worry – you don’t need any fancy tools for this. Just grab your ZebraPen Clickart Pens, some white cardstock, a 2 inch punch and some sticks!

Materials:

ZebraPen Clickart Pens

ZebraPen Brush Pen

2 inch Punch

White Cardstock

Topper Sticks

Glue/Tape

Instructions:

Gather up your supplies and let’s get started! First, we’re going to need to use the 2 inch punch to cut circles for each cupcake. You can also just use scissors for this – no need for fancy tools!

Grab those white cardstock cutout circles and decorate for Halloween fun! I’m going with a simple design and using my ZebraPen Clickart pens to decorate. I did some straight lines as a background and I’m using my ZebraPen Brush Pen to write the word “treat”. This way people will know that at least the cupcakes are solidly in the treat category – no tricks involved!

Once you have your designs, get some craft glue or tape to attach the toppers to the sticks. I got some official topper sticks but you can also use toothpicks or popsicle sticks.

All that’s left is putting the toppers in each cupcake and displaying your masterpiece! I love how they turned out with the topper and the wraps to match! The ZebraPen Clickart pens make it so easy!

Who doesn’t love a good cupcake at Halloween?! You can make your own custom cupcake wraps with just a couple items from around the house and some ZebraPen Clickart pens!

Materials:

Cupcake Wrapper Template 

Cardstock Paper

Scissors

ZebraPen Clickart Pens

ZebraPen Brush Pen 

Instructions:

First, you’ll need a cupcake wrapper template. There are so many free ones on Pinterest and you can pick whatever shape works best for you. I chose a simple ruffle top and cut them out with scissors. You can also find these templates in SVG format and cut them out on your Cricut or Silhouette machine.

Once you have them cut out, you can sketch your cupcake wrapper doodles in pencil and then start filling them in with bright pops of color from the ZebraPen Clickart pens. These pens are great because they don’t smear, they dry super quickly, and there are so many colors available! I also love using the ZebraPen brush pen because you can add some simple calligraphy while you’re decorating.

Once you get them decorated, secure them in the back to prep for cupcakes.

Go crazy with your Halloween doodles and you can have awesome cupcake wrappers custom made just for your party!

Favor Tags

Materials:

Small favor bags

Cardstock paper (in color of your choice)

Single Hole Punch

Scissors

Twine/string/yarn/ribbon 

ZebraPen Brush Pen

ZebraPen Clickart Pens

Instructions:

Any Halloween party needs some cute favor bags! No, you can’t keep all that candy for yourself (tempting though). Grab your favorite candies and a pre-made favor bag and let’s make a custom tag just for your guests.

I cut out a small rectangle for my favor tag here but feel free to cut any shape you like. I’m just using scissors but you can also use your Cricut or Silhouette to cut out a more complicated shape.

Then I took my ZebraPen Brush pen and wrote out the words “Happy Halloween”. I love the brush pen because it’s super easy to control and the tip is just the perfect amount of flexible. Next, I grabbed my ZebraPen Clickart pens to add some pops of color.

Once you have the tag decorated the way you want, use the single hole punch to punch a hole in the corner of the rectangle. Use your ribbon or twine to attach it to the favor bag and you’re all set! The cutest little gifts for all your party guests!

BOO! Halloween Projects

Boo! Did I startle you? Well, no need to be afraid.  I’m here to share some simple Halloween crafts to help add a little spookiness to your home decor.

The days are starting to get shorter and a cold chill creeps it’s way through at nightfall.

As we begin fall, Halloween starts the season of holidays. Whether you prefer scary and gory or cute and fun, there is always a craft project perfect for you.

The projects I want to share with you are kid friendly and simple with minimal materials. You can always make each project your own, by adding your own creative style. Gather your family and friends and invite them over for a craft session.

BANNER – HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The style I chose for this banner highlights different lettering styles. The background is filled with spooky and scary words fit for the occasion. Minimal detail with black lettering for the background and a little pop of metallic color to help the block letters stand out. It’s modern and fun and just my style. Play around with your lettering and add color if you’d like.

Materials & Tools:

  • Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pens and Black & Metallic Brush Pens
  • Zebra Sarasa Felt Tip Fineliners (optional)
  • White card stock or a pre-made banner
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Scissors & hole puncher, pencil & ruler

Make your banner:

You can buy a paper/card stock banner, or you can make your own. If you love to craft, having

white card stock handy is a must for simple projects like this one. You can create a stencil and

then use it to create as many cutouts you need.

Start by lettering the individual banner pieces with each letter to spell HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

Sketch your design with a pencil. I chose block letters to help stand out from the detailed background. To create diagonal lines for the background, use a ruler. Then with a technical pen, trace each block letter.

Now for the details, I did an online search for “Spooky words for Halloween” and penciled them through out each banner piece and I added simple illustrations through out. Be creative and switch up your lettering styles or add color if you like. Use the Sarasa colored fine felt tip Fineliners for that.

Once you’ve penciled in your words, you will trace them with your technical pen and brush pen. I used two different sizes of the black technical drawing pen to create the different widths of lettering styles. The brush pen was used for modern calligraphy.

Now to add the pop of metallic color. I used orange to color the word “HAPPY” and gold for “HALLOWEEN”. Allow the ink to dry and punch a hole at the top of each corner for each banner piece. Measure the twine or ribbon by laying out your pieces and measure horizontally.

Now you can put your banner together. Get your twine or ribbon and weave it through the holes that you punched out at the top of your cutouts. Looking at your cutout, weave the end of your twine or rope from the front left hole, pull through and weave it back into the right hole pulling from the back to the front. Repeat this with each cut out. Banners look amazing on a mantle or even an entry way. Whatever you decide, it will make HALLOWEEN a little more festive and “SPOOKY”for the month of October.

ORNAMENTS

These ornaments were fast and simple. All you need to do is add some color and letter a word or phrase suitable for the occasion. That’s right! Did you know that you can use the metallic brush pens to paint your wooden ornaments? I tried it and it worked out great. Minimal mess and easy clean up,

You’ll have to try it.

Materials & Tools:

  • Zebra Black Fine Tip & Metallic Brush Pens
  • Wooden Halloween ornaments (pumpkin, witch hat, cat)
  • Twine and scissors

I found a set of wooden ornaments at my local craft store. Be sure to find ones that have a smooth surface so it does ruin your brush pen tips. Paint each ornament a different color. The pens are so pigmented that it provides good coverage. Touch up if necessary.

Let your ornaments dry and then use the black brush pen to letter a word or phrase suitable for the season. Last, but not least, attach your twine.

These would be great to decorate an outdoor space. Hang them on a tree or in a bush. They’ll

even look great on a fence. This project is so simple, you’ll have custom ornaments in 30 minutes.

DOOR HANGER

Here’s another simple project that highlights your creativity.  I created two cute door hangers to keep in theme. The perfect “TRICK or TREAT” decor to welcome the mini ghosts & goblins looking for something sweet.

Material & Tools:

  • Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pens and Sarasa Fineliners
  • Zebra Zensations Black Fine Tip Brush Pen & Metallic Brush Pens
  • Two 5×12 inch rectangular card stock (both cut down to size from a 12×12 inch sheet)
  • Pencil, Ribbon, Scissors & Hole Puncher

Start by cutting your card stock down to size.

Use your pencil to sketch out words “TRICK” and “TREAT” on each door hanger.

Then sketch an illustration appropriate for each word. Some things to consider are spiders and tombstones for “TRICK” and all types of sweet things for “TREAT.” Add some color with Sarasa fineliners. Outline your block letters with the technical drawing pens. Finish off by coloring your block letters with the metallic brush pens.

Last but not least, punch holes at top corner of each door hanger. Attach your ribbon by forming a loop at the top. I added a knot and/ or bow at the ends of the ribbon to finish this piece.

This project is super fun and easy for all ages. Hang these at your front door to determine if your guest want a “TRICK or TREAT!”

PENNANT

Pennants are a great addition to outdoor decor.  Use pennants to create a “WELCOME” or “WARNING” sign for your wanted and unwanted guests. You can post them near the front door or even your yard. Enter at your own risk!

Materials & Tools:

  • Zebra Metallic Brush Pens
  • Three 7×12 inch triangular card stock (cut down to size from a 20×22 inch sheet)
  • Wooden Stake or Sticks
  • Pencil, Scissors & Tape

Start by measuring your triangle pieces and cut them down to size. I made three pennants, but you can make as many as you want.

I kept my signs simple by adding cliche messages. Sketch in pencil to determine the position of your message or phrase.  Then simply go over it with the metallic brush pens. I added simple doodles for detail.

Let your ink dry then attach the stake or stick to the back of your pennant with some tape. I added some ribbon to the stake for detail. Position your signs in strategic areas around your home to keep your guests on their toes. Choose daring messages to keep them guessing. “DO NOT ENTER” or “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” are fun ones to try.

How to Make Picture-Perfect Cupcake Wrappers

Hi everyone, it’s Erin from @gofontyourself. Today I am going to show you how to easily make rainbow cupcake wrappers. Since the dessert is always the star of the birthday party, it’s fun to dress them up and really make them shine! For this rainbow themed birthday, I’m using Zebra’s Mildliner Brush Pens to make these wrappers really pop!

Materials:

Cupcake Wrapper Template
Cardstock Paper
Scissors
Mildliner Brush Pens

Step 1: Find a Template

First, you’ll need a cupcake wrapper template. There are so many free ones on Pinterest and you can pick whatever shape works best for you. I chose a simple ruffle top and cut them out with scissors. You can also find these templates in SVG format and cut them out on your Cricut or Silhouette machine.

Step 2: Decorate the Wrapper

Determine which side of the wrapper will be the outside and which side will be the inside. Once you have chosen which side is the outside, use your Mildliner Brush Pens to decorate it!

Step 3: Secure the Wrapper

Once the wrappers are completely decorated, fold and secure them in the back.

Step 4: Place Cupcake in Wrapper

Presto! You’re now ready to place them over your cupcakes. You have matching cupcake wrappers for your rainbow themed party.

Tips for Finding a Great Career Mentor

When it comes to finding a career mentor, there are several things you should take into consideration before deciding who you should ask to take on this role.

 Below are some tips on how to find the right mentor for you and your career. 

1. Know your goals

What is it that you want to gain from a mentor?

List out your goals so that you know what you would like to accomplish.

Think about what you want to achieve professionally in the next year, three years, or five years. Can you accomplish these goals on your own, or will it require some insight? Understand what goals may require some help and what goals are easily achievable on your own. It will be easier to find a mentor if you know what your long-term goals are. If you set a timeframe for your goals, a mentor will be better able to guide you down the right path. The more specific you are with yourself and your goals, the easier it is on your mentor.

2. Find someone you want to be like

Ask yourself, “Who do I look up to? Why do I look up to them?” As a first step, identify someone that inspires you through their work and establish what about them makes you feel inspired.

Now, if the person that immediately pops into your head isn’t necessarily accessible to you, consider someone that you may know personally, professionally, or through other connections that fits your aspirations. Ask to speak with them and be prepared to take notes. Once you set up a meeting, bring along your G-450 Gel Retractable Pen and be ready to take notes on the path this person took to get where they are today. Ask any questions that you may have or explore what goals they set for themselves and what steps they took to achieve them.

Through this process, you may, in turn, find your new career mentor right then and there!

3. Find a mentor that can help your weaknesses

Turn your weakness into your biggest strength. When you are searching for a mentor, it’s ideal to seek out someone who can help you with your weaknesses. For example, if you find public speaking a challenge, try to find a mentor who can help you overcome this. Chances are they struggled with a weakness in their work history and will have valuable tips on tackling these difficulties.

4. Be aware of your current network and reputation

There’s something to be said of the adage, “You are the company you keep.” Think about how you heard of your potential mentor. Then consider how your potential mentor may have heard about you. Your network and reputation can hinder or heighten your career. For example, if you have a reputation for being punctual, professional, and driven, that will show through your work and through your network.

If you seek a mentor and are just beginning your career, remember that the individual may not be aware of your work. If this is the case, and you have never talked to them, try to find a mutual connection. Or, reach out to them directly. There’s nothing wrong with citing your potential mentor’s work or accolades as inspiration. Use examples of how you applied their work or ideas to a project and what the results were. Chances are they will feel a connection to you and be even more interested in being your mentor.

5. Set up a meeting

If you believe you have found the right mentor, don’t just jump right into things and ask them to be your mentor. Instead, ask for a brief, informal meeting. Come up with several questions that you would like to ask your potential mentor, but don’t make the meeting feel like an interview.

We suggest bringing a notebook and your G-750 Gel Retractable Pen, and asking if they don’t mind you taking notes during the meeting. This way you can be sure to write down any helpful information or tips your prospective mentor may mention, and you can readily write down any questions that may pop into your head during the initial meeting.

Once the meeting is over, be sure to ask your possible mentor for their contact information and send them a handwritten thank-you card. To write your thank-you card, we recommend using a simple, standard thank-you card with the G-750 Gel Retractable Pen. The G-750 Gel pen is perfect for writing in a card due to its smear-free ink: you won’t need to worry about any smudges in your card! When your prospective mentor receives your handwritten card, they will know you are professional, respect their time, and it may even set you apart from others that may be seeking a mentorship.

6. Develop an elevator pitch

Once you have had your initial meetings with prospective mentors and decide who you want your mentor to be, it’s time to write your elevator pitch. Understand your goals and why you believe this person will be the right mentor for you and you the right mentee for them. Be sure to include what you will be putting into the mentorship, your time-commitment abilities, and what you want to gain from this opportunity.

It will be beneficial to draft up your elevator pitch and practice it on others before taking the leap and asking your future mentor for feedback. In doing this, you can practice different deliveries to your family, friends, or coworkers and make tweaks before you deliver your pitch to your career mentor. Again, have your reliable G-750 Gel pen on hand so you can write down any suggestions or input to improve your pitch.

Remember, finding a career mentor is not a one-size fits all situation. You may have to speak with several individuals before you find the right mentor for you. Be prepared to ask questions and be realistic. Taking the time to find the right mentor could be the boost you need to advance in your career.