22 Jan How to Find a Mentor
A great mentor can be instrumental in helping you grow in your career. A mentor’s job is to help you reach your career goals. They are available to give you advice, teach, and support you in all of the steps in your career. However, a mentor is not someone who is likely assigned to you. It is usually an informal relationship and you typically have to seek it out.
How do you find a mentor? Where do you begin your search?
Define What You Want in Your Career
Before you begin the hunt for a great mentor, you must define what you want in your career. You want someone who has similar goals as you. This helps them better guide and lead you. For example, do you want a large promotion? Do you want to work in a certain department? Do you want to be a leader? These are things you should consider to make sure you choose a mentor who is the right match.
Ask Someone You Know
Do not ask a stranger to be your mentor. You want someone who you know and who understands you. A mentor will work with you to create a detailed plan to reach your career goals. They should be aware of how you learn, be familiar with your educational and career background, and understand some of the areas where you may struggle and fail, etc. When you work with someone you know, they are already familiar with these aspects of your life. They are not starting from bare-bones to assist.
Look In Your Network
While it is important to ask someone you know to be your mentor, you may not know who to ask or how to narrow down your options. One of the best places to start your search is in your own network. Look at individuals who you currently work with or those you may have worked with in the past such as former employees or managers. You may also consider individuals who are knowledgeable and anxious to see you succeed such as former teachers.
Do Your Research
Once you have found an individual who knows you and is familiar with the steps you must take to achieve success, don’t rush and feel like you need to ask right away. Rather, take some time to ensure it is the right fit. Set up times to have informal meetings or gatherings. These meetings will give you an idea of whether your potential mentor has the same goals as you, your personalities will work well together, etc.
If you don’t feel like it will be a good match following these meetings, that’s okay. You want to find an individual who you can trust, you look up to, who has the right personality, and strong goals.
Finding the right mentor will make all the difference. Take your time to find someone who you trust and is willing to work hard with you. If you do, you will have more success with your mentorship.