Finding the right mentor for your career is important as mentorship could advance your career. The perfect mentor for you is someone who can help you elevate and accelerate your career growth and development.
Hereunder are 6 steps that you can take to finding a mentor for your career:
Reflect on your Career Vision
The first step to finding a mentor for your career starts with you. Therefore, think about your career and what you want to achieve. What are your career aspirations for the next five years?
It is critical that your mentor be someone who you can work with seamlessly. What type of personality do you respond the best to?
A person maybe qualified to mentor you but they may not be the best fit. Ideally, great mentor mentee relationships could develop into a lifelong friendship.
An example of a famous mentor mentee relationship was that of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. According to the website, The Chronicle of Evidence based mentoring, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs served as a mentor to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Jobs and Zuckerberg met regularly during the start-up phase of Facebook to discuss business and managerial best practices for the company. Zuckerberg referred to Jobs as a mentor and friend in his tribute when Jobs passed away in 2011.
Create a Career Plan
Once you have completed your career vision, create a career plan. Look at the skills that you have and the direction that you want for your career. Identify knowledge and skills gaps.
Create a list of actionable steps that you need to take to arrive at your desired achievement. Allocate a deadline by which you will like to master each of the new skill or gain knowledge in the required area.
With this clarity, you will be able to identify a mentor whose knowledge, personal traits and experiences aligns with your desired outcomes.
Make a List of Prospects
Write a list of persons within your network who you believe can positively impact your career. Is there a former teacher that you developed a good rapport with at college that you have maintained a relationship with?
Is there someone within the company that you work with whose career you admire? Have you seen YouTube videos or read a book and you are amazed by the achievements of that individual.
Remember your mentor need not be someone that you know. You could identify someone whose life’s work you admire. As an example, both Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. were greatly influenced by the work of Mahatma Gandhi.
In his autobiography, Martin Luther King Jr. explained that how he first heard about Gandhi’s teachings at a lecture at Howard University by Dr. Mordecai W Johnson. King was captivated and began studying the life of Gandhi.
King described the lecture as follows:
“message was so profound and electrifying that I left the meeting and bought a half-dozen books on Gandhi’s life and works” (p. 31-32).
On February 3rd, 1959, King flew from New York to India, where he told reporters in New Delhi that he was a pilgrim. He paid respects to Gandhi by visiting the shrine where he was cremated.
I have written articles on lessons from the life of both Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Feel free to have a read at these posts as well.
Research your Prospects
Once you have identified your prospects, then do your homework. Look at their achievements and what they are currently working on. Does the person have the success that you will like to achieve?
If you are looking at starting a business, has the person themselves started a business? You need to research whether your prospects have similar paths to the one that you are considering.
On the contrary, a mentor need not be someone at an expert level in the area that you will like to develop. Someone who is a few steps ahead of you can add tremendous value to your career.
LinkedIn is a great resource to use to review the history and background of the individual. In addition, check out their social media pages. Some individuals tend to share about their lives and may share about their work and what projects they are involved in.
Identify Potential Mentors
After you have completed your research, identify who you believe will be a great match for you to work with.
In addition, you will need to ensure that the individual is both willing and able to help you. If you are looking for a great resource with questions to ask your mentor, then check out our free career mentor questionnaire workbook in the free career resource library. Click HERE to access.
Reach Out and Ask for Help
Don’t be shy, reach out and ask for help. You can use a direct approach such as sending a formal email and introducing yourself. On the other hand, if the person is near you, it may be great to contact the person by telephone.
A voice introduction in some instances may build a better rapport as the person has heard your voice and is able to interact with you to get a feel of your personality.
You can take a more indirect approach which could be a longer way. This could entail following the person on social media and liking or commenting on their content. If the individual has a blog, you could read and comment on their content.
Doing this overtime, your name will definitely catch the attention of the individual. Ensure that the comments are meaningful and genuine. From there you can consider moving the relationship from online to offline.
You could also consider joining groups that prospective mentors may like. Is the person a part of the local toastmasters?
Even if the your choice does not agree to mentor you by patterning yourself in their footsteps, the value that you can gain from the group could be life changing.
Who knows the group may connect with other individuals who may be more suitable mentors.
There are several other articles on mentorship on this blog that you may find valuable. Feel free to click any of the links below to explore:-
33 Great Mentoring Quotes
How To Ask Someone To Mentor You
7 Important Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Mentor
10 Top Qualities of An Effective Mentor
12 Top Career Mentoring Questions To Ask A Mentee
10 Top Career Questions To Ask A Mentor
6 Valuable Benefits of Mentoring To Advance Your Career
10 Top Questions To Ask A Mentee
17 Top Qualities of A Great Mentee
Five Top Questions To Ask A Reverse Mentee
Finding the right mentor is critical to elevating your career. Trust that the above 6 steps help you find your ideal fit.
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This article on career building is very nice thanks for sharing. Very good work.
Delighted that you found it helpful
I agree, in addition, the relationship you’ll have with your mentor will be ongoing—your mentor can guide you throughout the life of your career. It’s a relationship that can last a very long time.
Thanks Robbie for your input. Much appreciated.