When we think about the most successful people we know, it’s easy to think that they have had it easy. Or that they didn’t need any help on their journey. However some of the most successful people in the world have had mentors. Mark Zuckerburg was mentored by none other than Steve Jobs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates talked about the mentoring relationship he has enjoyed with the billionaire philanthropist, Warren Buffet.
Whether you are a recent graduate, a professional or moving into a new role, we could all benefit from a mentor. But before we look at the top tips for finding a mentor, lets make sure we understand what mentoring actually is.
What Is Mentoring?
A mentor is someone that can guide, advise, and support you. They can help you achieve your goals in your career , business or personal life.
The goal of a mentor is to help you improve your career prospects or achieve any other goals you may have.
This could involve introducing you to new ways of thinking and working , challenging limiting beliefs and changing your perspective on different situations.
Top Tips For Finding A Mentor
1. Define Your Goals
Before starting your search for a mentor , think about what you hope to get out of the relationship. Are you hoping to work on a particular skill? Perhaps you are preparing to move into a new career. You may think you have some gaps in your knowledge you need to plug.
2. Mentor Search
Once you have understood what your goals are the next step is to find your mentor match. Your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional. They could be a family member or another co worker. There are no hard and fast rules.
Social media, especially sites like LinkedIn are a great way of looking for possible mentors. Look for people in your industry or people that have experience that you could learn from. Follow their pages. comment and share posts. This is a great way of getting on the radar of someone you think could be a great mentor.
You could also ( when restrictions ease) think about going to networking events related to your industry or business area. Eventbrite and Meetup are a great way of finding such events.
Don’t forget that you can have more than one mentor at a time. Getting different perspectives from various mentors could also improve your personal development.
3. The First Meeting
Once you have pinpointed a potential mentor , its time to organise the first meeting. This should be very informal. Invite for them for a coffee or video call. Tell them you want to pick their brains about a certain topic. This will be very much like an informational interview. You need this session to establish whether you think they will make a good mentor. So make sure you are asking the right questions and you are getting a good feel for them as a person.
4. Pop The Question
Once you have had a few sessions with your potential mentor , it’s time to ask them whether they are willing to mentor you. Explain how you think they can help you. Describe your challenges, where you are, where you want to be and how they can help you.
5. Make The Committment
If everything goes to plan and they agree to mentor you, the onus is now on you. Your mentor does not want to feel that they are doing all the work. Initiate meetings, complete the tasks they have asked you to complete.
We hope we have inspired you to start looking for a mentor(s). We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below.