We're used to hearing “it takes a village” when we're talking about family, but what if that “village” theory is true in business as well.
Well, it sure helps!
Finding the right mentor can help you navigate your career and give you a village of knowledge instead of going at it on your own.
What to Look for in a Mentor
Merriam Webster defines mentor as “an experienced and trusted adviser.”
A mentor is someone who can act as your guide and biggest fan. This person encourages you to go for new opportunities and helps you navigate challenging situations.
How do you find the perfect advisor for you and your unique situation?
First, spend some time thinking about what you're looking for in a mentor.
Do you want:
- An expert in your field to teach you what they know?
- A cheerleader to encourage you to connect with others to grow in knowledge.
- A peer where you can hold each other accountable?
Then, define the goal of your mentorship.
- Is it to grow in your career?
- To grow in status?
- To help you balance work and life?
Finding the Right Mentor
There are many places you can find a mentor but let’s start with your own network.
Do you know who…
- Is an expert in your field
- Approaches business how you would like to
- Is trustworthy
- Is reliable
- Fits your personality
- Has a lifestyle you would want
Some of the many places you can find your mentor include:
- Someone inside the company you currently work or have worked in the past
- People in your industry you know or know about
- Professional networking events
- The gym
- The bar
- Volunteer events
- Social media
When you're ready to ask someone to be your mentor, be ready to confidently share your goals and explain to them why you think they're the right mentor for you. Tell them what you're looking for and your expectations. Explain to them what they can expect of you and your commitment to your goals.
Bottom line, you can do it on your own, but finding someone to be on the journey with you can have a lot of satisfaction.
If this is something you have considered but not yet done, there’s not better time than now. Set aside time to outline what you're looking for, define goals for your mentorship, think about what you want in the person to be your mentor, and lastly, start looking and thinking about your network and the places you frequent.