No matter what stage you are at in your career, having a mentor is an invaluable relationship to form. Unfortunately, you cannot just pick a mentor and expect them to spend their valuable time guiding you through your career. You can however form a natural connection and sincere relationship that can one day turn into a mentorship. It will take time and may be awkward at first, but once you find your perfect mentor, you’ll be happy you did!
Take an Interest
People love to talk about themselves, so when you find someone you can learn from, don’t tell them what you want from your career right off the bat, ask them about theirs. By taking an interest in their career, they will feel a natural desire to impart their wisdom on you.
Ask for Guidance
When you have a sticky situation at work, consult your desired mentor and preface your request by letting them know how much you value their opinion and why. They will be flattered you think their knowledge is so valuable and will be happy to help.
Don’t Force It
No matter how much you admire someone, you might not connect on a personal and professional level and that’s ok. If your idol does not seem receptive to forming a relationship with you, don’t push it. You will be better off in the long run.
Try a Formal Program
Some larger companies have formal programs for connecting you with a mentor or placing you in a program that encourages career advancement where you may meet a potential mentor. Those who run the programs are more likely to have a desire to mentor someone. This could speed up the process of finding a mentor tenfold if you play your cards right!
Don’t Shoot for the C-Suite
As ideal as it would be to have a top executive as your mentor, they probably don’t have the time to help you. Shoot for a mentor with years of experience but who isn’t at the very top of their career. You never know, one day they may rise to the top and take you with them.
If no one you know or work with is a potential mentor then start reaching out to strangers. Use an informational interview as the launching point for a relationship with this person. Putting yourself out there is scary, but it can pay off big time.
Let it Happen Naturally
Take some pressure off yourself and do your best to form sincere relationships. One day when you least expect it you might realize a trusted friend or colleague has been a mentor all along!
Do you have a mentor? Share how you formed the relationship in the comments? For more posts like these, make sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin’!