How to Find (and Work With) an Amazing Mentor
FIND A GREAT MENTOR CHEAT SHEET
Do you need a mentor? Absolutely, 100%, no exceptions! Consider this:
80% of CEOs have stated they have had mentors.
74% of hiring managers say jobseekers should have a mentor, counselor or job coach, yet only 40% of jobseekers report having someone like this.
Advantages of Having a Mentor:
-Someone who will LISTEN. It is SO crucial to have someone who can listen and empathize with your struggles, your triumphs, and all points in between.
-Someone who can share "WAR STORIES" with you. We don't learn by being lectured to. We learn when those wiser than us share stories from their life, and we're able to link their experiences to what we're dealing with.
-Someone who will keep you focused. The outside world is ALWAYS trying to steal your focus and keep you on the hamster wheel. A mentor can shock you back to a state of remembering what's truly IMPORTANT, not simply what's URGENT.
-Someone to push you in the right direction. When you're depressed, when you doubt yourself, when your self-esteem takes a hit- this is when a mentor can lift you up and remind you of what a ROCK STAR you are!
Sources of Mentors:
-Family and Friends. If you can't think of someone in this pool within 10 seconds, look elsewhere.
-Colleagues, Bosses, and Extended Network. If you don't know someone directly, ask for a recommendation. Being asked to mentor someone is an incredible honor, and most are happy to consider it.
-Local Professional Organizations, Industry Organizations, and Trade Associations. Added bonus- joining them gives you greater professional credibility.
-Social Media. The world's a much smaller place these days. Don't be afraid to initiate contact with people you think may be "too big"- we're all human beings, and we're all motivated by the same core factors.
How to Approach Mentors and Earn their Respect
-Do your research. Learn everything you can about the person prior to direct contact. Professional, personal, and all points in between. True engagement comes from a place of knowledge and understanding.
-Explain WHY you're getting in touch.
-Share your intentions and desire for help.
-Discuss your goals and what you wish to work on. Come in with a PLAN for where you want to go and where you want to end up, and most importantly, show your potential mentor that you're taking ACTIVE STEPS towards achieving it.
-Set up contact on an ongoing basis. Once a month is fine, all long as it's set it stone. Irregular contact destroys accountability- you need to use every upcoming call/meeting with your mentor as a spur to make progress on that which is truly important.