It’s a rewarding experience when the person living the life you want gives you amazing insight into obtaining it. We call this mentorship.
Identifying a mentor can be easy. Chances are you’re already in the perfect environment to find one, or you’re already talking to a few contenders without knowing it. That’s why it’s important to network. You never know where it can lead.
When seeking a mentor, these are the most important things to keep in mind:
Be genuine: Mentors are human beings just like you. Don’t waste time by being ingenuine or opportunistic. Think about how you can also add value to your mentor’s professional life as they support you in yours.
You have time: Don’t feel pressured to establish a mentorship right away. These things take time. Some of the best mentors are a result of spontaneous interactions or conversations around shared interests.
Asking is key: If you don’t request mentorship, then you may never get it. Don’t be shy.
Check in: The only way to maintain a mentorship is by keeping in touch. In the beginning, make sure that you are checking in with your mentor once a month. Update your mentor on your growth, goals, and new projects. Don’t forget to include in the same email, space for them to update you.
A mentor doesn’t always need to be someone senior to you, but a difference in experience is always an asset. Typically, mentors are the people you’re comfortable with that are in a higher or completely different position than you. In school, mentors can even be students, who are often leaders or e-board members of on-campus clubs and organizations.
If you would like to get started in finding a mentor, you can use these outreach tips.
If you’re still on the fence about needing a mentor, check out this article.