Have you found someone who can inspire and guide you on your career journey? We all need someone to look up to, and having a mentor at your side can be more valuable for your career than anything else. Read on to discover how you can find the right mentor for you.
Why does having the right mentor matter?
The right mentor has probably already walked the career path that you see yourself following. They have all the experience and knowledge that you will need to make a success of your own career.
Mentors can offer you valuable first-hand experiences that you won’t find in any book; they are treasure chests of wise advice, good ideas and meaningful insights. A mentor should be someone you can trust completely during the times that you need guidance and support in your career. Apart from this, a mentor who is well-established and respected in their field may be able connect you with influential people and job opportunities.
How to find the right mentor
You will have various mentors at different stages in your life, and in different areas of your life. During childhood, you wouldn’t have had to pay much attention to finding mentors, as your parents and teachers would have assumed these positions. But, when you start your college studies or enter the workplace for the first time, you may need to put a little more effort into finding the right mentor.
Finding the right mentor when you’re a student
When you’re a student, it’s a good idea to seek out someone who has completed and excelled at the course you’re studying. Ask your college for suggestions on how to get in touch with a person like this. You can ask this person to share their thoughts on what study tips and techniques worked for them and what the key factors were in successfully completing their course. You could also ask whether the person may be willing to offer some advice and assistance when you’re struggling with your studies.
You can also seek to build this type of relationship with your tutors, who generally have experience in your chosen field and a strong understanding of the course you’re studying.
Finding the right career mentor
When you’re in the early stages of your career, you can research your field and start finding some of the top industry experts and role players within it. Make a list of people who have achieved some of the goals that you want to achieve in your career, and make contact with them by sending an email introducing yourself and outlining your reasons for making contact. Explain that you are looking for a mentor who may be able to assist you with advice and support. Sit back and see who responds to your email.
When you do receive a positive response from someone, you can start building a relationship and figuring out whether your potential mentor is the right person for you. Attending industry events also offers a good opportunity to connect with respected people in your field and to start laying the foundations for a fruitful mentoring relationship.
In your role as the mentee, make sure that you listen and learn actively, and be respectful of your mentor’s advice and feedback. You shouldn’t be the only one benefitting from your relationship – you should also seek to help your mentor by, for example, recommending their professional services to other people or offering any other assistance to them when they need it.
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