At UXMastery we believe that getting a mentor is a key part of becoming a really great UX designer.
Matt explains the reasons why in this excerpt from his article How to Get Started in UX Design.
[B][B]Get A Mentor[/B][/B]
For me, finding a mentor was a real turning point. Even though we don’t catch up as often these days as when we first formalised the mentoring relationship, when I look back now, many of the big decisions I made career-wise happened soon after I found a mentor and he started encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone. My mentor not only helped shape the process that I use on design projects to this day, he also encouraged me to start giving presentations at conferences and meetups, and to quit the low-paying job that I was in and take control of my career. For that I’m eternally grateful.
Finding a mentor can be hard, but hopefully if you’ve done a good job of Step 4, you’ll at least have more people within your circle and a better understanding of who’s who. Hopefully someone will stand out. Failing that, you could try a more formal program such as [URL=“http://iainstitute.org/en/members/mentoring/mentoring_program.php”]IAI mentor program.