Mentoring can be a helpful tool when it comes to making career advancements. This is particularly true for women and minorities in traditionally tough industries to break into, however, mentorship’s benefits can positively affect anyone. The trick is finding the right person for your specific needs which can be easier said than done.
Naturally, we have some solutions on how to go about finding the right person for you. It will take some work and deep thinking, but in the end the knowledge to be gained will be worth the extra effort you invest into yourself.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
Before you can go about finding the right person to mentor you, it is important to ask yourself some questions to better understand what you needs are.
1. What are your short and long term goals? This question is important because if you don’t know what you are after, how will anyone else? It is also hard to know who can help you best if you don’t know what you will need help with most. Take some time and think about what you want in the next three months and how those short-term goals will feed into your longer-term plans. Once you have that established it will be easier to decide who best can help guide you to those goals.
2. There are a lot of people in this world, who do you look up to most? Specifically think about this in terms of what you desire in a career moving forward. Whose career path would you like to follow and attain? Is this a person you can reach out to for guidance? If so make the call, if not, research them, their process and how they got to their current position.
3. Recognize your current network. You probably know more people than you are aware of. You also may be getting some mentoring without even realizing it—we call this informal mentoring. Take some time to think about all the people you know and consider asking them to help you if they have expertise that aligns with your goals.
Take The Plunge
You’ve taken time to ask yourself the important questions and consider what you desire for your life moving forward. You’ve researched various people in your career path and thought about people already in your network and how they fit into the puzzle. It is now time to act and put your plans and research into motion.
When asking someone to be your mentor it is important to have a good pitch ready to go. You will want to make sure you can clearly articulate what your goals are and how this person would fit into helping your accomplish them. Also, a little flattery never hurts so make sure you let your potential mentor know that you have looked into their history and admire how they have gotten where they are.
Things To Do Once You Have A Mentor
There is nothing worse than wasted time whether it is yours or someone else’s so make sure you are ready to go.
Set a clear agenda for each meeting with your mentor.
Be open to whatever your mentor tells you, good or bad. After all you sought them out to learn.
Make sure you are ready to take detailed notes each meeting so you can study and apply.
All good things must come to an end including your mentorship. Set a clear end date for your arrangement.