How to Find a Mentor? Discover what a mentor is and how to locate the ideal one to help you achieve your professional objectives.
- A mentor is an accomplished professional who provides informal guidance to less-experienced colleagues.
- A mentor should always have the mentee’s best interests in mind and adapt their mentoring style to suit those needs.
- Find a mentor in your network and industry whose leadership and management principles you admire.
- This article is for professionals looking for mentors to help them advance their careers and develop their skills.
Personal and professional growth is crucial regardless of your career stage. However, if you have limited career experience, navigating your career path and industry may leave you feeling overwhelmed at times.
Mentorship is a method for honing professional skills and gaining invaluable insights from someone with years or decades of experience in a given field.
If you’re interested in finding a mentor to assist you with your day-to-day job duties and long-term career goals, we’ll show you what to look for, how to locate one, and how to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.
How to Find a Mentor? What is mentorship?
Mentorship is a professional relationship in which an experienced individual (the mentor) imparts knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to a less experienced individual (the mentee) while concurrently honing their own mentoring skills.
An effective mentor can provide professional guidance to the protégé while maintaining a friendly and supportive rapport. A mentor should always have the mentee’s best interests in mind and adapt their mentoring style to suit their needs.
Anyone seeking a mentor should adhere to the following three recommended practices:
- Have a specific objective. Define your career and establish attainable business objectives. Recognize what you must learn to achieve your objectives.
- Adopt a businesslike attitude. Consider the mentorship relationship a business friendship. Be informal and cordial, and avoid awkward inquiries such as “Will you be my mentor?”
- Find a mentor through your professional network. You may already have a mentor in your professional network who offers various forms of guidance. It requires minimal effort to develop this connection into a lasting relationship.
How to Find a Mentor? What does a mentor do?
Whether you are starting a business, embarking on a new profession, or already have business experience, you can benefit from having a mentor.
Throughout your career, a mentor can serve as a sounding boardDiane Domeyer Koc
Diane Domeyer Kock, senior vice president and managing director of managed creative solutions at Robert Half.
They can provide advice on career management that you may not be able to find elsewhere, as well as an insider’s perspective on the industry and introductions to key industry contacts.
Doa Storey, an OPEN Mentorship Institute mentor and American Express OPEN procurement Mentor, noted that mentors can assist mentees in identifying and avoiding business pitfalls and overcoming upcoming challenges.
Vicki Salemi, a career expert for the prominent job search platform Monster, noted that it is easy to lose sight of the big picture when we are immersed in our own careers. Mentors are essential, particularly at the beginning of your career. Mentors should not be your boss, and they should offer advice on advancing and support your overarching objectives.
How to seek out a mentor
Finding a mentor can be an organic process, but it is essential to take initiative and prepare for a successful mentorship relationship. Here are some tips:
- Determine your desired career path. The first step in locating a mentor is to determine your career goals. Opportunities and unexpected detours may present themselves along your career path, so you do not need to map out your entire path. Instead, define your short-term goals to provide a clear path forward.
- Identify who has your ideal employment. Bill Driscoll, senior district president of technology staffing services in the Northeast and Midwest for Robert Half, suggests that you consider your career path and narrow it down to determine who has your ideal job and who you admire. “Successful mentoring relationships occur when the mentor and protégé are a good fit for one another. “Reach out to a person with whom you feel at ease, who can serve as a sounding board and also provide you with excellent advice.”
- Examine your professional circle. Your professional circle can consist of former supervisors, former professors or teachers, coworkers from another department, individuals you met through an internship program, and family friends.
- Look for individuals who comprehend your position and industry. Seek out someone with a general understanding of your current position and industry who can advise you on new initiatives, certifications, and training you need to advance, as well as how to navigate office politics.
When reaching out to someone, it’s essential to keep things informal. Salemi suggested approaching a potential mentor in the same manner as a prospective friend; the relationship will develop over time. Don’t force matters; remain calm. Lessons and counsel will be acquired with time.
“It’s not like you can walk up to the person sitting next to you at a conference and ask, ‘Oh, will you be my mentor?'” Salemi said. “It is a procedure. It’s similar to when you consider the friends in your life, how you encountered them, and how, over the course of a year or so, you became really close with them… You did not initially ask, ‘Will you be my friend?’ That would be extremely uncomfortable.”
Why you should think about collaborating with a mentor
A mentor can be an invaluable asset, particularly for aspiring young entrepreneurs and those new to the business world. There are a variety of advantages to working with a mentor.
Mentorship provides a fresh perspective from an experienced professional.
Whether you’ve just begun your first job or are in the middle of your career, learning from a more experienced colleague is a priceless business opportunity. It is simple to lose oneself in the present as we settle into the routine of daily work life. A mentor can reset our perspective, allowing us to view our occupations and development from a new angle.
Author and career expert Ryan Holiday told us that finding a mentor begins with working diligently and establishing a reputation for success. By focusing on your role and career, you can position yourself to interact with more seasoned business professionals who will recognize your potential and want to assist you in your development.
Powerful people are constantly on the lookout for talented young people; they cannot find enough of them,Holiday
The best way to attract a mentor is to cultivate a reputation for being teachable, curious, motivated, talented, and, above all, well-balanced and dependable.
It is not find a mentor and you will succeed; it is succeed and a mentor will find you.Sheryl Sandberg
Mentorship is an informal method of acquiring valuable guidance.
It is essential to comprehend the essence of the mentor-mentee relationship. Salemi observes that mentors and mentees should be aware that the relationship does not always have to be formal and intense. It is preferable to concentrate on maintaining the professional relationship and learning as much as possible.
It’s an ongoing dialogue conversation, and the relationship won’t completely transform your life.Salemi
Finding a mentor entails learning how to appropriately follow up, contribute value to your mentor’s life and career, and be proactive about your own career development. These principles are applicable to workers at all stages of their careers, but they are especially important for young professionals who are new to their field or lack the necessary experience to advance.
A mentor is a role model – someone who has been in your position and paved the way to success.
The modern mentor can elevate both your mind and your career in a way that cannot be taught in school, a boardroom, or on a business tripDemetri Argyropoulos, CEO of Avant Global
Mentorship has been crucial to my professional development for me.
How to establish a rapport with a mentor
- Schedule regular follow-ups. Once you’ve met with a potential mentor and had an initial discussion, you should carefully consider how and when to follow up. If they are amenable to continuing the conversation, schedule follow-up and meeting reminders. It is up to you how frequently you speak with your mentor, but the objective is to maintain long-term insight. This could entail calling or meeting for coffee every three months or twice a year.
- Utilize social media. Social media allows mentees to have frequent, low-pressure interactions with their mentors. Utilize Twitter and LinkedIn for light topics, such as intriguing articles, book suggestions, and industry news. Social media permits mentees to gently remind their mentors that they value the relationship. Be careful not to prod too frequently, or you will appear forceful. [Discover additional methods to use LinkedIn professionally and personally.]
- Reserve crucial communication for face-to-face meetings. Do not discuss important career decisions via email or social media. Reserve this for face-to-face interactions. “Make an effort to meet with them,” Salemi advised. “If their schedule is full, think outside the box in terms of ‘OK, I’ll meet you in your office’ or ‘Can we FaceTime?’ to get interaction… you shouldn’t be sending emails.”
- Utilize traditional mail. Mail is an effective means of communicating with your mentor. A thank-you note or holiday card can go a long way toward demonstrating that you value your mentor’s counsel and presence.
What characteristics does an excellent mentor possess?
When selecting a mentor, it is crucial to make a wise decision. They should be someone you admire and strive to emulate. Consequently, all effective mentors share certain characteristics.
- Expertise and achievement: Your mentor should have more experience than you and a track record of success at a minimum. Argyropoulos stated, “A great mentor is someone whose qualities make up a much better version of who you hope to become.”
- Excellent character: Doug White, retirement plan specialist at TCG, recommends searching out a mentor with admirable qualities and traits. “Seek out mentors who are genuine, empathetic, creative, and trustworthy. You need someone who cares about your professional development and is invested in it, but also someone who will tell you the truth. Sometimes you require constructive criticism or a reality check, whereas other times you require a high-five or a slap on the back. All of these benefits can be provided by a carefully selected mentor.”
- Values similar to your own: A mentor in the same business sector may have a better understanding of your company’s challenges and concerns, but Storey emphasized that mentoring relationships are not required to occur within the same industry. Perhaps leadership style is more essential. “Ensure that the mentor shares a comparable leadership and management value system. Before entering a mentoring relationship, it is essential to know who you are as a leader. Only then can you align with the appropriate guide.”
How to increase the value of the mentor-mentee relationship
As a mentee, it can be easy to slip into the habit of asking your mentor for a lot without offering anything in return. Although your mentor may be pleased to provide you with guidance, it is essential to demonstrate gratitude and make yourself available to him or her.
Salemi stated that it is essential to demonstrate your appreciation for the relationship by valuing your mentor’s advice and time. For instance, arrive early to meetings or modify your schedule to accommodate your mentor’s needs. Young professionals may not have much to offer their mentors, but they can contribute appreciation and respect.
You can be a great mentee to your mentor if you follow up when you say you will – if you stay on their radar, If they’re the right mentor for you, they’ll likely appreciate providing information, Thank them, recognize them, and do not waste their timeSalemi
How to take initiative in mentoring relationships
The purpose of finding a mentor is to obtain valuable insights and advance one’s career. This is only feasible if you take charge of the situation.
Everyone must be proactive in their own career advancement and development.
Even if you enjoy your job and believe that things are going well, you still need a mentor because you may reach a plateau at some point.Salemi
Maintain an easygoing and uncomplicated relationship with your mentor. There is frequently something to be learned from a more experienced colleague. The key is to be receptive to whatever the lesson or message may be.
Seek out a role model who can assist you in areas where you are deficient in knowledge and skills. My most influential mentoring relationships have developed through the sharing of experiences and anecdotes, and the mentee can also teach the mentor at some point. You want to foster an environment in which you impart your knowledge to others.Argyropoulos