How do I find a good mentor?
You already have a job. However, you want to take your career to the next level. A mentor can help you do this. But, how do you find a good mentor?
Write a list of goals
Start by writing a list of your goals and objectives for the mentoring relationship. This should include what areas you wish to discuss and explore. You should also write a list of things you want advice on and the questions you want to ask.
Once you know this you will have to consider who the ideal person for your mentor might be… and who you know who might fit these criteria.
Write a list of possible mentors
Reflect and write a list of people that you admire and that you would like to learn from. Create a wish list of mentors. Once you have created this list then work through it and see which of the possible mentors would be able to help you with your goals. You can also do this if you have a more formal mentoring programme within your company and you get a say in choosing your mentor. Identify the best choice to reach out to.
In most cases your mentor should be someone:
- you are already know or work with (doesn’t have to be on regular basis but it is easier if you know each other).
- who is ahead of you in their career path.
- you have already demonstrated potential to.
- you can communicate with and feel comfortable talking to.
- who will find it a mutually rewarding and beneficial experience to mentor you.
- you admire or someone who inspires you.
If you need inspiration or you are struggling to find inspiration look to your colleagues, your personal network and LinkedIn connections, even strangers who are where you want to be. Even ask your peers for recommendations.
Make contact with your possible mentor
Reach out and ask if they’d be open to catching up over the phone or meeting up for a quick coffee. It doesn’t have to be formal to start and you should test the waters first to see if there is a spark that can be built on and to develop into a mentoring relationship. If it is right 9 times out of 10 will happen naturally and might just need that extra gentle nudge in the right direction.
Start working on those relationships now.