1. Search for a Mentor In Your Field
Painfully obvious. It’s important that your mentors have firsthand experience and know the common pitfalls in your industry – to prevent you from making similar mistakes. Career resource site The Muse adds that having a mentor in your field increases your chances of being introduced to more professionals within your industry.
Where do you start? By schmoozing – read our networking feature.
2. It’s Okay to Have More Than One
Mentoring is not onesize-fits-all, writes Ashleigh Clark in 4 Reasons Why You Need More Than One Mentor (www. lifehack.org). Different mentors have different strengths and skill sets that complement one another, so they can collectively offer you broader career insights.
3. Look for Someone Who’s Not Like You
A mentor with differing views from your own is beneficial, ecause she could highlight things that might possibly blindside you, and help you solve problems by offering a different perspective. Forbes.com’s Laurence Bradford adds that a mentor with a different skill set is an important resource who can help to fill the gaps in your experience and skills.
While you’re at it, find someone who will give you an honest opinion and tough love. Your mentor should be there to teach you, not to inflate your ego.
4. Don’t Formally Ask Someone to Be
Your Mentor Asking someone to be your mentor is not only abrupt but frighteningly vague, as you might both have different ideas of what it entails. Ryan Holiday, best-selling author of Ego Is the Enemy, says: “A mentorship is… a dance, not a contractual agreement.”
And the best way to kick-start a relationship with a prospective mentor is to ask an appropriate and intelligent question. That way, you can engage the person in conversation and allow her to get to know you in a more natural way.
This article was first published in the Jan 2019 Issue of our magazine.