A mentor is someone who acts as your cheerleader and guide, encouraging you to apply for new opportunities, helping you navigate challenging situations, and acting as a ‘sounding board’ when you need advice.
Having a mentor makes sense! Research shows that people with mentors get promoted faster, earn higher salaries, and are more satisfied with their careers. So, how do you find a mentor who is right for you?
Check out these tips for finding a marvelous mentor and suggestions for leveraging that relationship:
Find a mentor from within your own network
Despite what you might think, strangers (even ones you really admire) don’t always make the best mentors. Instead, find great mentors through the inspiring people you already work with and know. Find mentors who are 10 steps ahead of you in your field, role, or industry. Ideally, they’ll have seen you in action and already have a sense of your potential – they know how you think, act, communicate and can offer advice to help you get to the next level.
Get on the radar of someone you admire
Before asking a person you don’t know to be your mentor, initiate a relationship by following their work and volunteering to help support their efforts. Tweet out their posts, comment positively on their blogs, share their updates, or start a discussion on LinkedIn reflecting on their post. Send them a note and let them know you admire their work and would like the opportunity to connect and learn more about their career path.
Be the mentee everyone wants
Are you a person you yourself would like to mentor? Are you open and respectful? Are you eager to learn, and committed to accepting advice and counsel graciously? Are you APPRECIATIVE of the time and interest a mentor is willing to invest in you?
As you seek a mentoring relationship, remember that while today you may be asking someone to mentor you, tomorrow YOU could be the mentor!
Question: How would you describe your ideal mentor?