Tips for finding a mentor
Some people are for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Yesterday we discussed the importance of a mentor. Today I’m going to provide tips for finding a mentor.
A mentor is such a valuable addition to your life, it should be a decision you give great care.
My mentors were always people I felt were where I wanted to be.
These were people who excelled in their career, provided value to others, and who were willing to share their insight with me because they believed in my potential. People who were committed to helping me define my dream and then turn it into a reality.
Find someone who makes it about YOU and not THEM. A person who is in it for the long HAUL. A person you RESPECT and could also consider a friend.
I found the majority of my mentors in my work environment but there are many ways to find mentors, here’s a few ideas:
School/Work – School and work are great places to find a mentor. You will already be in an environment of learning. A professor or a manager is already in a position to teach you things and “show you the ropes.” Make good use of your time. Ask questions and be eager to learn.
Internet – Outside of school and work, the Internet in my opinion is by FAR one of the best ways to be mentored. Even if you aren’t able to meet in real life you can still be mentored from afar. Through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, you are able to interact real-time with your mentor. You can observe how they are advancing in their area of business, how they are marketing themselves, and what opportunities are being presented to them. In other words, you can see what your future looks like!
Okay…you’ve found a prospective mentor, now what do you do?
Quite honestly, I had mentors I approached and asked, “Will you mentor me?”
While others, we understood our roles.
It was never stated, but they were providing VALUE to me and I appreciated their advice and encouragement. Both ways worked fine because the result was the same – they were assisting me in reaching my goals.
Once you’ve found a mentor, be a good student. Your mentor is there to motivate you, to learn from you, to be available to you, to provide positive reinforcement, and to keep you focused. Allow them to do so. It shouldn’t feel like a chore for either party. The process should be mutually gratifying to both people involved.
Once you’ve been successfully mentored, the best thing you can do is to pay it forward and mentor someone else. It’s a wonderful thank you to the person who mentored you and equally as gratifying.
Think of this process as building an All-Star team. Who do you want on YOUR team?
Where did you meet your mentor? What qualities does he/she have? Please share in the comments section below.