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Career Mentorship: How to Find a Mentor and Become One Yourself

A good mentor can be one of the most valuable assets in your career development arsenal. It can also be one of the greatest relationships you develop in your professional life.

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is a lot like a coach; they share their knowledge, skills, and experience with you to help you grow in your career. A mentor can help you make better decisions, learn new things, and avoid making mistakes. The right mentor can even help shorten your learning curve, give you access to new resources, and provide guidance during difficult times.

How to Find a Good Mentor

Define Your Career Goals

Since a mentor relationship is all about career development, it's helpful to know what your goals are before you start your search. Identify your short-term career goals so you can work with your future mentor on developing a clear path forward.

Scope Out a Mentor Who Has Your Dream Job

One of the best ways to find a good mentor is to look for someone who has already achieved what you want. This ensures they have the experience and knowledge to help you achieve your goals.

LinkedIn is a great place to look for mentors. You can use the site's search features to find people with your dream job title in your desired location.

Consider Someone in Your Network

You may already have a potential mentor in your network. If you have a good relationship with your boss, a colleague, or even a family friend who works in your field, they may be willing to mentor you.

How to Become a Mentor

Become an Expert in Your Field

Part of being a mentor is sharing your knowledge with others. You need to be an expert in your field to pass on the valuable information you've gained through your experience.

Be Willing to Give Your Time

A mentor relationship requires time and effort from both parties. Ensure that you have the time to meet with your mentee, respond to their emails in a reasonable timeframe, and be available for phone calls or video chats.

Work on Your People Skills

Mentors are more than just teachers; they're also coaches, counselors, and sounding boards. You need the right mentorship skills to build relationships and communicate effectively with your mentees. Practice active listening, work on your patience, and fine-tune your ability to give constructive feedback.

Volunteer for a Mentorship Program

Start by volunteering for a mentorship program. If your company doesn't have one, there are many programs available, both in-person and online. This is a great way to get your feet wet and see if mentoring is something you're interested in before making a long-term commitment.

Get the Mentorship You Need

Mentorship can be a rewarding experience for both parties. Mentors get to share their knowledge and help shape their mentee's careers. Mentees get guidance, support, and access to resources that can help them achieve their goals.

As a career coach, I mentor my clients and help them identify their goals, create a plan to achieve them, and provide them with some much-needed guidance and support along the way.

I've seen firsthand the impact that a mentor can have on someone's career. If you need help finding a mentor in your field, I'd love to help you identify your career goals and refine your search.


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