How to pick the right mentor
Everybody needs advice, whether in business or life – and when it comes to your career, mentoring can be an indispensable tool. Whether it’s just talking through some ideas or tackling a challenge – finding someone you can trust as a mentor can be a great sounding board when carving out your career path!
Mentors can be a game changer when it comes to career moves, professional development and life advice. Finding the perfect mentor may seem like a daunting and unfamiliar task, so here are a few tips on finding the right one for you.
Explore why you want a mentor and how they will help you
Are you on the brink of a big decision? Are you looking for someone to help you with business development? Whatever the reason, take the time to be certain on what you want to get from a mentor and how they can help further your career and skill set. A good mentor can share professional knowledge, advise you on overcoming obstacles and share their experiences and how they’ve learned from them.
Choose what type of assistance you need
When thinking about what type of mentor you would like, think in terms of timelines– do you need someone to mentor you throughout the next year, 5 years or do you need some to map out and walk you through your career plan. At any time in your career there will be a multitude of people who will offer their advice, but if you have a constant key mentor who you have a relationship with you will be sure that their advice will steer you in the right direction.
Don’t look too far!
Looking for a mentor does not have to be difficult, it can feel daunting to ask someone for their help and advice, good professionals realise the necessity of a great mentor and want to pass on their knowledge. The hardest part is plucking up the courage to ask for help! A mentor is usually a person who already works in your field, maybe even your company, who can offer guidance and advice. People love helping people and asking someone to be your mentor shows them that you have admired what they have done in their career and can be very flattering!
Do your research
Find out all you can about your potential mentor (e.g background, education etc.). Take your time to weigh up their strengths and weaknesses, figure out how you will match up. Think about their style, background and manner – do they possess all the traits you want in someone that will essentially be teaching you, helping you with big life and career decisions? Look for qualities such as honesty, professionalism and a dedication to continual learning.
No doubt if your potential mentor is high up in an industry – they will have a busy workload! Don’t be fazed if they don’t respond straight away. The right person won’t pass you by!
Remember, when you find your mentor, nurture your relationship! It is give as much as it is take. They will voluntarily provide you with career advice and guidance so don’t take that for granted! Finding the right mentor can be the most important move of your career so engage with them, listen and learn and who knows, maybe one day someone will be contacting you to be your mentee!