Working with a mentor could be just what you need in order to help you change your career or help you with your professional growth.
But how do you find a mentor? Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you how you can find a mentor.
Mentor or role model? Okay, before we dive into this, we need to have an understanding between the two.
Who is a Role model
A role model is someone that you look to, who you don’t have necessary connections with and you’re inspired by them. They could be celebrities. They could be sports figures, they could be individuals that are just out there in media and you look to them to see what they do to emulate some of the real things that you resonate with.
Who is a mentor?
Now, a mentor is someone you have connections with. It’s kind of like having a coach with that you can share your concepts and your ideas. They’re going to provide you with their experience and so this is a more intimate relationship that you have with this individual, your mentor, who’s going to help you along your career path. It’s usually someone who has a lot of experience so that you can use their wisdom to help you grow in your professional career.
So to find your mentor, look to the developed relationships, you already have. So you may know people who would be great mentors but maybe haven’t thought about them in that context. So take a look at who you’re connected with.
Take a look at the rules. Are they someone who has a wealth of experience? Have they climbed that corporate ladder? Can they provide you with some insight? Are you on the same track that they were on, so they can give you a lot of good feedback? Are they managers? Because all of that stuff becomes important.
You may already have someone without realizing it, who could be an amazing mentor for you. You don’t have to reach out necessarily to someone new, or outside of the circle, that you’ve already. So really investigate to see who you can count on, or call upon, that’s already in your developed network.
Seek out a mentorship program. Now not all organizations have mentorship programs, but there are quite a few that do. So, go to your HR department. Ask, do you have a mentorship program? Because they may be the ability to hook you up with individuals who want to be mentors.
You also can take a look at any associations that you belong to. So if you’re a professional who has a professional designation, like an accountant or a project manager or an engineer, then you can go to your association and ask, do you have any mentorship programs? Because yes, there are mentorship programs within those associations.
So, take a look at the resources that potentially may be at your fingertips through associations and your organization because they may already exist and you just have to tap into them.
Ask someone. Okay, this is slightly different than going to your developed network because now what I would like for you to consider is taking a look at your organization. Is there any individual who you may not even know that well, but perhaps they’re on the path that you want to be on?
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Perhaps they are doing the things that you like to see yourself doing. So you may want to reach out to them. Introduce yourself.
They’re in your organization and saying, “Hey, would you consider being my mentor?” and if you do that and you are reaching out to someone and you don’t have a formalized mentorship program, really think about what do you want from this person? What would be expected?
What is the number of hours that are going to be, that this mentor of yours potentially is going to have to invest in you? So get clear with that yourself before you kind of reach out to ask someone, because it is a volunteer program, right? If you’re asking someone, are you going to pay them to be your mentor? No. Usually, you’re looking for advice. It’s time.
It’s them volunteering their time to help you and guide you. So really think about who is it that is around you, that you may not know and you want to get some advice from, but also think about how you want to set up this mentorship as well, and what are the expectations for both sides.
All right, this is another great way to find your potential mentor. So if you’ve done all the other things, you looked at your immediate circle of people that you already know and there’s no one there. Your organization doesn’t have a program. Or perhaps there’s just no one in your organization that you want to ask, network is the next best thing, and here’s a cool tip. Go to the Google search bar. Type in-network event, plus the city you’re in, and you’ll be amazed. A whole bunch of networking events is going to pop up.
Now when your network, you want to find out and ensure your network in the same type of industry that you’re in because again, you’re trying to find like-minded souls, individuals who have sort of done the due diligence and have gone through what you are looking to get into, so they can provide you guidance and wisdom. So really check out that Google tip because it is cool and go to as many networking events as possible.
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If you’re prepared with what you’re expecting, you’ll be quite surprised. A lot of individuals do want to help other, up-and-coming people because what you give is what you get. At least that’s a philosophy that I have. So check out networking.
It’s going to give you everything you need to know, to be successful with your projects, or your activities. Because again, if you’re looking to grow, then you need to ensure that what you’re doing is also successful, not just in the mentoring activities, but in your other activities as well.
On that note, please let me know, do you have any other mentoring tips that perhaps you would like to share with me? I would also love to hear anything else you want to say from a topic conversation too.