Finding a career mentor is necessary for both networking purposes and sound career advice. The problem faced by a number of people is how to find the right mentor that will propel them forward career wise. People that have career mentors in their lives climb up the corporate ladder faster, get promoted often and expand their businesses at a quicker pace because they have defined and clear career goals.
Before you get a mentor, ensure you are ready for him. By this I mean willingness to take criticism, advice, maintain relationships and put forth extra effort. You want to find someone you are comfortable around, have chemistry with, share similar goals and interests and communicate openly and freely. To get the ball rolling, here are a few tips on finding the one;
1. Write Down Your Needs
Before identifying a career mentor, be sure to clarify your career mentor’s expectations and roles as far as your career is concerned. Examples of the expectations include assistance in learning more about your industry, guidance on how to start a successful business and how to network better. In order to find the right mentor for your career, make sure you clearly define your professional goals, expectations and objectives.
2. Have an Open Mind
It is easy for you to imagine that your career mentor is in your workplace. However, great mentors are found in numerous places including non-profit organizations, your university or college, business meetings, women’s association, family members, community groups for instance business chambers of commerce. Keep your ears and eyes open everywhere in order to spot a prospective career mentor.
3. Set up a Meeting
After identification of a prospective career mentor, call them and schedule a meeting. The rule of thumb is to meet at a place which is comfortable for both of you so that you can speak confidently. During the meeting discuss the possibility of a mentoring relationship clearly stating your terms.
4. Be as Clear as Possible
If you have had success with finding a good career mentor, the next step is to come clean with such things like meeting times, availability of your mentor and how frequent you desire your meetings to be. More often than not, having a career mentor means more work on your side. Before the relationship gains momentum, it is crucial to understand that you will probably be doing most of the calling and scheduling meetings.
5. Basic Etiquette is a Plus
It is highly likely that your mentor will help you achieve a particular goal either at your workplace or in your enterprise. When they do, be sure to share the glory with them. Say please and thank you as much as you can.
6. Put on Effort
Having a career mentor does not mean that you expect them to do the work for you. Writing your resume and following after the contacts is not their work but yours. They may provide tips on how to write the resume and introduce you to relevant people in your industry but after that it is up to you to make things happen.
7. Be Open to Learning
A fruitful and beneficial relationship can only stem from being open to learning. There is so much inspiration and hope when we see that our mentors have pushed us towards great achievements. Since they have gone ahead of us and hence more experienced, be humble and let your mentor teach you how to be great at your career.