Having a mentor can be a boon for your career, allowing you to gather insights and receive guidance from a seasoned professional who’s likely been in your shoes. However, the relationship is only effective if you’ve found the right person.
With a strong match, there’s a sense of synergy. Plus, it’s easier to forge a connection, allowing you to gain more from the relationship. If you want to make sure that you can find the right person, here are some tips that can help.
Tips for Finding a Good Mentor
Know Your Motivations
Before you start searching for a mentor, it’s wise to reflect on why you’d like to have one and what you hope to get from the relationship. By understanding those points, you’ll have an easier time finding a mentor that’s able to offer what you’re wanting to find.
For example, some professionals may want a mentor to help them overcome a career hurdle, while others may be looking for assistance growing a crucial skill. At times, the main goal may be to reach a specific position or explore a particular career path.
Essentially, knowing your goals and motivations helps you get a clear target in mind, one that you can present when broaching the mentorship topic. You have a better idea of what you’d like to achieve, ensuring that you remain focused along the way. Plus, you’ll know that anyone who chooses to become your mentor is willing to help you work toward that goal, effectively ensuring you’re both on the same page.
Explore Your Network
Once you have an idea of what you’d like to achieve, it’s time to find potential mentors. You’ll want to explore your network for possible candidates, essentially creating a list of potential options. Along with current and former colleagues, check out your alumni network. Additionally, don’t overlook second- or third-degree connections, such as friends of coworkers or friends of friends of friends.
As you look, don’t focus solely on members of upper management or other top-tier professionals. Instead, you typically want to find a professional that’s at least one step deeper into their career than you are currently. If that includes non-managerial roles, then don’t overlook those options.
Forge an Initial Connection
If you don’t have a well-established relationship with some of the prospective mentors, your first step should be to forge an initial connection. You want to get to know them a bit before making any kind of request.
For any first-degree member of your network, reach out directly to establish the relationship. One simple option is to ask to meet for coffee to conduct an informational interview, get help with a specific problem, or another similar purpose.
With second- and third-degree connections, it’s best to arrange for an introduction. That can ease the process, particularly if the potential mentor has a strong relationship with the mutual connection. However, if that isn’t possible, reaching out through LinkedIn or a similar platform is an option.
Ideally, you want to spend the initial meeting determining if it’s a possible fit. You want to determine if your personalities mesh and if they have something that you’re trying to find. If so, then you can take it further. If not, you can move on to another potential mentor.
Discuss Exactly What You’re After
Once you find a strong fit, it’s time to broach the topic of mentorship. Be clear about what you’re trying to find, including the goals you’re striving to achieve and how you envision a mentor being able to assist. Then, you can let them know you’d like them to be your mentor if they are available.
If the potential mentor agrees that it’s a good fit and they have the time and know-how to work with you, they’ll likely accept. In that case, you can start discussing more details.
If they don’t have the time or energy, the potential mentor will decline. Should that happen, accept the answer, thank them for their time, and find out if you can continue the relationship in a lighter capacity. That way, they can remain a member of your network.
Ready to Take Your Career To The Next Level?
If you’d like to find out more, the team at TempStaff can help. If you need support throughout your job search, we are here! Contact us today.