Mentors: A Roadmap to Finding Success
We’re all adventurers, tackling the wilderness of finding a career that fits. For fresh and seasoned pros alike, the path is full of obstacles. Make this bumpy road a bit smoother with a great map. Look for guidance among those who have gone before us/survived the journey. A mentor is a wonderful ally to have on your professional journey, whether you’re just starting out, changing careers, or simply looking for answers.
A mentor points you in the right direction. Forbes.com’s suggested route on how to find a mentor is a helpful guide:
1. Determine your destination: What is your end goal? Where do you want to go in your career? Knowing how and why you need help is the first step.
2. Take inventory: Check with HR. You may find the perfect person is already working at your organization. Some larger organizations also offer mentoring programs for employees. Mine other connections, like LinkedIn. An advanced search lets you find alumni, or others who have worked in the same industry or organization.
3. Be aware of your surroundings: Look outside of the workplace. If mentoring programs are not available through work, look for various mentoring programs offered by other nonprofits or universities.
4. Define the landscape: Specifically explain what your mentor can do for you, what you will gain from their guidance. Prove that you’re worth the investment of time and energy - don’t be modest!
5. Enjoy the journey: Smile, keep it light. Make the relationship beneficial for both of you! Ask lots of questions and sincerely listen to answers. Take advice seriously and pay attention to the wisdom they share with you.
It’s not the destination, but the journey, that counts. The road ahead to a career filled with purpose and mission may not always be smooth. Thankfully, there are plenty of well-traveled mentors to help map things out.
For more on mentors, take a look at these resources: How to Find a Mentor, Forget Advisors: How to Find and Woo a Power Mentor, Mentoring Womens Network, How to Find a Mentor for Your Nonprofit, Get a Great Mentor Through LinkedIn.