When it comes to our careers, we often think that we have to do everything on our own. We believe that if we want something bad enough, we should be able to achieve it by ourselves. This isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes the best way to achieve success is by finding a mentor who can guide us in the right direction.
1. Know your goals so you can team up with the right mentor.
Your mentor should be someone who has already achieved your goals and can provide guidance on how they did it. As much as possible, they also need to have a similar personality type as you. Otherwise, there is little chance that the two of you will get along well enough for them to want to help.
For example: If you want a career in writing but your mentor is an engineer with no experience whatsoever at anything related to literature or English language studies, then this would not work out very well. The same is true if you’re looking for a leadership mentor but the one in front of you has never held a leadership role.
Finding the right mentor
This sounds obvious but many people don’t do their research before finding mentors so make sure that this isn’t something you skip over. When looking for a mentor:
- Make a list of things you would like to learn from them.
- Find someone who has had experience in the field/industry you are interested in.
- Make sure you’ll have chemistry and be able to communicate openly with them.
Once you’ve found someone who meets all of the above qualifications, it’s time for the next step: asking them to be your mentor!
2. Prepare to ask.
Many people feel intimidated by this process but it doesn’t need to be complicated. You can simply send them an email or reach out to them on social media. Just make sure that whatever method you choose, you are respectful and humble in your approach.
Mentors are usually more than happy to help someone out who is looking to improve their career. Remember that a great mentor is someone who knows the ropes already and wants to share their knowledge with someone else—so make sure that you let them know how grateful you are!
3. Discuss expectations.
It’s important that you discuss what the expectations of this relationship will be upfront so that both parties know exactly what’s going on. Will you meet up once a month? Or maybe have weekly phone calls? Establish these things beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
4. Always be a good mentee!
Being a good mentee means being respectful of their time, asking thoughtful questions (and listening carefully when they answer) and demonstrating your interest in the subject matter by taking notes during meetings/phone calls or reading up on things that were discussed between sessions. This way, you’ll come prepared with more specific topics next time around.
Remember to thank them for helping you out. It’ll go a long way towards building rapport between both parties involved in this relationship.
With all these in mind, you’re now ready to start taking your career to the next level with the help of a mentor!