P.S. EXPANDED THOUGHTS FROM CAREER REDO ON WHERE TO FIND A MENTOR
Advancement to the level that you want is directly proportional to your personal and professional development. One way to assist in accomplish it is to find a good mentor to help steer your career path.
This could involve a continued path in your current career field or a shift in your career goals altogether.
WHY LOOK FOR A MENTOR
You may be in the beginning, middle, or later part of your career. You may want to stay current in your field and prepare for the next step. You may want to make a significant change to a new career field. You are looking for career advice. All are valid reasons.
For those staying in the current field, you may want to speed up your progress or expand your existing network. You may want to identify certain specific skills and make marked improvement in your professional growth. You may want to widen your view in your current industry. You may want to determine what is required to reach the next level.
For those searching for a new field, this provides a perfect opportunity to gain insight from an experienced individual who wants to help you advance. The right person is out there for you. The world is more open than ever to acquire a deeper understanding of how people succeed in their careers. Now is the time!
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MENTOR
One of the best ways to find a great mentor to help you achieve your goals is to start by examining yourself. You should:
- Identify the reasons you want a mentor. Be honest. Write down your goals. That is the first place to start.
- Figure out what type of knowledge and expertise you want for your mentor in this mentor-mentee relationship. Is this the experienced person you want to work with. Do they need to have passion for their work. Can they identify and comprehend what you want. Are they in tune with what you want.
- Determine if you feel this prospective mentor could be a role model.
- Examine if they a good fit.
TRY AN ONLINE PLATFORM OR OLD SCHOOL ANALOG WAY
The next steps include a decision to search for an experienced mentor either online or by personal calls and emails searching for the right person directly.
You can find a good career mentor by looking yourself. It does take time and dedication, but it has been successful in the past for many. It can be for you also. To capture the best one for you there are several action that you should take.
- Identify any conferences or industry meetings that are coming up that you could attend. Networking events may be another way to access a group of potential mentors. If you are staying in the same career field, this is more possible. For those who want to access a new field, gaining access may be more difficult.
- Volunteer events and social clubs may allow you to locate others in your field of interest by general conversation.
- Check social media especially by using hashtags and keywords to locate those potential mentors. Follow their activity and discussions to see if they might be a match for your interest. It is best to engage with a possible mentor first to get to know each other. Later you can address the possibility of a mentorship relationship.
Note that the pros and cons that I identify are:
- PRO: You could find someone near you and it might be someone you know.
- CON: It usually takes longer to identify your mentor that the online method.
- CON: The mentor may not be agreeable to share contacts and experience.
- CON: They may not have the time or inclination to help.
ONLINE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
The internet provides access to so much information including formal mentoring programs where an experienced professional can be found. Some of the benefits include:
- Easy, convenient access online. A Google search can provide a listing of quite a number of potential mentors and perhaps the perfect match. You can find the career categories available in Career Redo here.
- The one-time or regular meetings could be held and paid for on a monthly, weekly or hourly basis. Those that start or consist only of a hour session can be very beneficial to help identify if the mentoring relationship is a good fit. It will allow general questions to be asked and answered and well as clearing specific questions during an initial conversation.
- Most online services provide an easy way to search most any type of mentor, including business mentor, those for young entrepreneurs, retirement side gigs, software programming, data scientist, and many others.
- You have access to possible mentors that are located most anywhere in the world rather than just locally.
- Your first meeting and other sessions can be held via phone call or Zoom under most cases.
- A more time efficient process compared to the old school method.
MAXIMIZE YOUR MENTOR RELATIONSHIP
Here is a great way to maximize the impact of this professional relationship.
- Especially before you begin your initial meeting, be sure to write down your goals. Then present them to your mentor.
- Prepare for your session by listing your questions. A good place to start is to clearly identify the professional skills you want to acquire.
- Be prepared to give feedback when asked by your mentor. It is a two-way street. Don’t just be quiet and listen.
- Be specific, communicate well and be honest.
- Use your mentor as a sounding board.
- Work to find solutions and be ready for constructive criticism.
WHERE TO FIND A MENTOR CONCLUSION
No matter your field, industry, or experience, a mentor can give you a view of the workplace culture and a different perspective from what you already have. Mentoring can help in developing your future.
My view is that the online method is efficient and results oriented. Find all of the career categories available here at Career Redo.