Choosing the Right Mentor

2313-Inc-Mentor

Flickr CC via Spherical Bull

Choosing the right mentor is a decision that can have a major impact on your career. But what exactly is a mentor, and how will you know that a mentor is the best choice? Here are a few ways for finding your very own professional mentor.

So what exactly does a mentor do?

A mentor can be a sounding board during critical points throughout your career. They provide guidance on your career that you might not otherwise be able to find, and they give this guidance and advice from a position of authority because they have experience in that industry or field most likely.

Okay, but what does a good mentor look like, and how do I go about choosing one?

Chiefly, your mentor should have a greater amount of experience than you do, and a track record of success. You’ll want to find someone who is altruistic, honest, creative, and willing to teach you everything that they know.

While it is a great idea to find a mentor in your workplace, or at least in your industry of choice, mentorships don’t necessarily have to exist within these constraints. For example, you might find that the best mentor for you is someone who is in a different field, but still provides great advice. Meeting suitable potential-mentors and becoming a mentee can be as simple as asking your prospective mentor to take you under their wing!

You can find a mentor pretty much anywhere. As stated above, starting within your own workplace is a great place to start. This is convenient not only in term of finding a mentor quickly, but also because they will be able to help you immediately with your current position as well as develop your skills for future positions. That said, networking could also help you gain a broader network of people whom you can ask to be your mentor.

Have you found the right mentor?

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