How to Find a Mentor to Help You Elevate Your Career
Regardless of your industry, being a working professional is hard. Things are constantly changing and navigating this journey alone doesn’t work for everyone. Finding a mentor can help those tricky transitions and situations in your career.
Identify your needs
Mentorship is not a one-size-fits-all approach to personal and professional growth. While finding a mentor seems like a key step for success, that’s not always the case. By identifying your needs, you’ll have a clearer understanding of whether or not a mentor is a right move to elevating your career. If your main need is to get guidance from an experienced professional, then mentorship is likely what you need. Now, dig deeper and be more specific with what those needs are.
Tap your network
Whether it’s LinkedIn, a support group, or within your family, your network can play a key role in helping you find a mentor. Once you’ve done your due diligence of identifying your needs, reach out to your network and let them know what your vision is. You never know what type of connections your network can have, so let them know what you’re looking for and be open to the possibilities.
Get your ASK in gear
My mentor Lea Haben Woodford, founder and CEO of SmartFem Media Group, is all about getting your ask into the world. That’s where her motto comes from. “Get your ask in gear” is her way of reminding people that if you want something you have to ask for it. A reminder I always find myself tapping into.
This step is only as hard as you make it. Sure, you can overthink sending that email for six months, or you can draft and send the email in six minutes. The only difference here is action, which is key when taking the right steps toward finding a mentor.
Set some standards
Once you’ve secured a mentorship the work is just getting started. A relationship between a mentor and a mentee takes time and intentionality. Make sure the two of you agree on the consistency of meetings and check-ins. As a mentee, make sure you make this a seamless task by creating a wish list, meeting agenda, or goals for each one of those meetings. Your mentor isn’t a mind reader, so expressing your current needs with them is essential.