Whether you are an entrepreneur or a job seeker, you will need a mentor. Some people have inherent entrepreneurial skills, and others have to seek advice from time to time. Regardless of how you all achieve your goals, everyone in their career was once a beginner.
Having a mentor at the beginning of your career means the difference between you succeeding and failing over time.
The question is, how do you find a mentor? What are the skills to look out for in a mentor? This article will show you some steps to find a mentor.
5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Mentor
5. Get Yourself Prepared
You might be used to getting things done by yourself. You have probably read and researched, and even listened to podcasts to tackle the unknown. Whereas this kind of self-motivation is admirable, it is a double-edged sword. Several times we have predetermined visions on how things should be, how to work and climb up the ladder, and so on.
This kind of thinking is limiting. It is not until you decide to talk to someone that you will realize what amount of knowledge you have been missing out on. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to identify loopholes that need to be fixed in your career or business.
4. Focus on the Person, Not the Position
Forget about the position that one holds in a company. Always go for the mentor who is precisely what you want to become. With that said, there are several characteristics that you shouldn’t ignore.
Traits such as honesty and trustworthiness should never be overlooked. Never be blinded by a person’s position. Who knows how they got there? You might end up burning yourself if you follow positions rather than principles.
3. Impression Matters Before Your Potential Mentors
People who are experts in certain fields are, in most cases, passionate about what they do. As such, they always lookout for people who share the same passion. Never come off as someone hungry to make money. Passion for the job should always come first.
Show your potential mentors that you are not there because of the money but rather the love you have for the job. Unfortunately, you can never fake this. They will spot you even miles away. Put in an extra effort, take on tasks that other people won’t, participate in meetings, keep time, help where you can, and be smart and professional. This will make you stand out from the crowd.
2. Be Open-Minded
In most cases, it’s the mentors who pick you and not vice versa. Nonetheless, be open to whoever comes your way. Most people will want company presidents or CEOs as mentors. These people have little to no time to spend mentoring someone who has been with the company for less than a year.
On the other side, a manager or VP who is interested in your success could be the perfect match for you. Do not ignore that peer who seems to be a rising star. Look up to that person. Emulate them in the best ways possible. Who knows, you might be creating some excellent networking opportunities.
1. Never Look for Someone Like You
What is the point of getting someone with the same attributes as yours? You need someone who will challenge you, encourage you, and push you to be better at whatever you do.
Look for someone who is the opposite version of you. Someone who will not shy to rebuke you when you get out of line.
The value of a mentor can never be overemphasized. If you know what you are looking for and how to find it in a mentor, you will be good to go. Mentors can be found within your circles, from family to friends or colleagues. Look for them at networking events and on professional websites such as LinkedIn.
Wherever you find one, make sure they are trustworthy and willing to invest their time in mentorship. Lastly, this is a two-way street, so be ready to also bring something valuable to the table.