Finding The Best Mentor For Your Success
You’re there! You’ve finished college. You landed your dream job. Great! Now, it’s time to get a mentor. Why? You need someone to help you advance your career especially if you want a management role.
You were taught as a child not to talk to strangers. Well, the same thing applies when finding a mentor. Mentors need to be people you know. Start making a list of people in your career field who can teach you a thing or two or people who have qualities you want or successes you want to achieve.
As you make your list of possible mentors it will most likely include people who inspire you. They will know you, how you work, how you think, and they will know your goals. Do you see where I’m going with this? A mentor needs to be someone you know, someone who likes you and wants to work with you. It would take an amazing stranger to want to put in all of this work without knowing that you will take all they teach you and put it into action. Your mentors will have a vested interest in your success, and that can have a big impact on our ability to determine what’s in our own best interest.
Your mentor will put a great deal of time into teaching you. In turn, they’ll need to know that they have made a good investment in devoting their time to you.
You need to find a mentor that you admire, but more than that, someone who has the personality traits needed to successfully mentor you. Someone who has not only the knowledge you need, but the patience required to teach you. Leadership skills are very important in a mentor. You’re going to put a lot of trust into this person and you need to know they will guide you in the right direction. This mentor should be someone who is already successful in your field or who has more knowledge than you do. Your mentor needs to be able to teach you what they have learned. This will save you time and if you are learning together, they are no longer your mentor, but rather your colleague. A mentor wants to feel the reward of helping you as you reach your successes.
So you’ve racked your brain but came up with no one. Well then, it’s time to go out and find your mentor. Now you’re stumped because you may have no idea how to do this. Remember: mentors can be formal and informal. You don’t have to ask someone to be your mentor. Instead it may help to think of them as advisors and you may find you need several.
Now you need to start letting them know that you are interested in their work. Ask them for advice; ask them how they would solve a problem that you think they have experience with. Do you work with them? Ask them how they would do the things you don’t want to bother the boss with. If you don’t work with them, you may need to start building a better relationship with them.
A great way to begin building these relationships can be as little as making positive comments on their posts and blogs. Do you like the work they do or the product they offer? If so, refer clients to their business. Share their posts; congratulate their successes! Offer your voice to them in a way that gives them another perspective or share resources. Share your experiences with them in the hope that they can use them and start to see you as a person who can help them. In turn, they may just want to help you, too.
If you believe the famous saying “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know” then you definitely want a bunch of people knowing you and referring you out.
There will also come a time in your life when you realize you are successful and that you have things you can share to help others. Make sure not to forget those who helped you get there and give back to those who are up and coming and need the advice you have now learned.