7 useful tips for finding a professional mentor

Meeting up regularly with the mentor who’s right for you can significantly boost your career. This person can help guide you through big career decisions and also help you know where to make improvements at the office. If you’re looking to grow professionally over this next year, check out our useful tips on how to find a mentor.

 

1. Consider what type of mentor you’re looking for

Before learning how to find a mentor, it’s important to know exactly what you want and why. Know the answers to the following questions: What are your expectations for this mentorship? Why do you want a mentor? In what areas are you looking to grow professionally? What do you look for in a mentor? What kind of time commitment are you looking for? How long will this mentorship last?

 

2. Put the word out

Reach out to your contacts explaining what you’re looking for in a succinct and honest way. If you know anybody in your field, try to reach out to them via phone or email to see if they may know somebody who is interested in meeting up with you for a coffee and a chat.

One good place to get the word out is at professional associations. Networking at these events that unite a variety of professionals can help you expand your network. You’ll be more likely to find the right candidate with a bigger network.

 

3. Go online

Nowadays, many organizations offer services to pair young professionals with mentors in their sector and area. Using tools like LinkedIn and Facebook can also be useful while in search for a professional mentor. A few sites to check out include MicroMentor and Score.

 

how to find a mentor

 

4. Look outside your office

A mentor doesn’t have to be someone you work with directly. Consider broadening your scope to people in your area that work in your field. Ask family and friends if they know anybody in your field that would like to meet up for a coffee. Working your connections is key.

 

5. The art of the ask

Once you have some people in mind as potential mentors and you’ve reached out by phone or electronically, it’s a good time to meet up in person. Inviting your potential mentor out to coffee or lunch is a great low-commitment way to see if you and this person have chemistry. Your mentor doesn’t need to be your best friend, but it’s important that you share a mutual respect. It’s also crucial that this person is interested in mentoring you.

 

6. Discuss the parameters of your mentorship

It’s time to talk about expectations. Talk to your potential mentor about when and where you want to meet. Let them know how long you expect the mentorship to last and what goals you have during this period.

 

how to find a mentor

 

7. Follow-up on your commitments

Now that you have a professional mentor, it’s time to keep up your end of the bargain. Committing to your meetings, incorporating your mentor’s advice into your routine at work and changing behaviors. The whole process will be a waste if you don’t take action.

 

 

Now you know how to find a mentor, learn more about how to boost your career abroad.

 

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2014/01/06/finding-a-mentor-is-easier-than-you-think/#4d4bf5ed52f5, https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-findingand-gettingthe-perfect-mentor

Photos

1. based on Macbook, Job, Work, by fouseyboy, CC-by-2.0

2. based on businesswoman, by Daniel Günther, CC-by-2.0

3. based on The Little Businessman, by J Stimp, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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