Success in many areas of life depends on personal and professional development, and finding a mentor can help.
You can not undertake the journey to personal and professional development successfully.
Mentorship simply means a relationship between you (the mentee) and a more experienced person (mentor) that benefits your growth.
How to find a mentor
The right mentor is never an easy task. However, if you know how to do it, you can make contact with the one who can change your life. Here are some tips to help you find a mentor:
Know what you are looking for in a mentor
The first step to finding a mentor is to have a clear picture of what you are looking for. Some qualities to look out for in a mentor include:
- relevant knowledge, expertise and experience
- enthusiasm to pass on their knowledge
- ability to give honest feedback
- passion for the field / skills in which you want to grow
There can be many people you can mentor. However, not everyone can do it successfully. As with any other type of relationship, find someone who understands and is willing to invest in you.
Join a mentorship platform
There are various mentorship platforms created to connect mentees with mentors.
Examples of such platforms include:
MentorCruise is one of the best mentorship platforms for those in technology, design and business
One of its advantages is that it is a two-sided market. Mentes can seek mentors and vice versa. Mentors fixed prices, usually $ 150 to $ 250 per month with a seven-day trial period.
GrowthMentor’s main selling point is the unlimited calls with mentors. You can also place requests for help and have mentors answer you. You get all this and more from $ 50 per month per year.
Pelion connect developers with experienced mentors in their fields of expertise.
With mentors from top technology companies worldwide, it is one of the best mentorship platforms for those in technology. Mentors set rates, usually starting at $ 300 per month.
Clarity work according to a simple model where you browse through their community of experts and request a call with your mentor. Unlike other platforms, you usually only work briefly with a mentor to solve an immediate problem.
Mentors set rates per minute, as this method is done via a call rather than through a continuous set up of mentorship.
Reach out to your existing network
One of the best ways to find a mentor is to look within your existing network. Find a few people in your network who have already achieved what you want to achieve. Make a list of the people and look at each one to refine your list.
Once you have determined who will make a suitable mentor, contact them and ask if they are willing to take on you as a mentor.
With this method, you do not have to start a relationship from scratch, or hope that you and your mentor get along.
However, if you can not think of anyone you already know, contact other members of your network. They may be able to recommend a perfect match for you.
Go to Professional Networking Opportunities
Professional networking opportunities connect you with people in your exact industry who have the knowledge, skills, experience and connections.
The key to finding a mentor at professional networking events is to attend as many events as possible. Take note of experienced participants and those who fit your desired mentor profile.
Find a meeting with the industry
Business meetings are similar to professional networking events because they are full of people in your field who want to learn more, but it’s not just about networking. Examples of encounters in the industry include:
- networking and talking events
- trade shows
You could also consider attending informal events organized by players in your industry or created by online platforms such as Meetup.
Attend volunteer events or social clubs
With volunteer opportunities and social clubs, you can meet new people and learn what is important to them. While these are not necessarily industry-specific, you never know who you might encounter – perhaps the person cleaning the kennel next to you at the animal rescue is an established person in your field!
Attending volunteer events and social clubs on an ongoing basis can help you get to know ordinary people. By doing this, you can see who will make a suitable mentor for you in a situation outside of work.
It takes a lot of time on your part and may not work all the time, but you can do good for your community and have fun, if nothing else.
Use social media
Social media helps people worldwide and from all walks of life to connect on the same level.
This is what makes it an excellent tool for finding mentors.
On most social media platforms, you can search using keywords and hashtags. These features make it easier to filter by the specific criteria you have set for the type of mentor you need. You can then monitor your potential mentors’ activities to see if they are genuine and engaging.
So which social media platforms is it best to find mentors?
The answer depends on which social media platforms are the most popular in your industry. The platforms that are most likely to help you find a mentor online are:
- Facebook (especially Facebook groups)
A word of advice: Never put your prospective mentor straight. To increase the chances of accepting you as a mentee, you must first take up their positions and communicate with them. You want them to know who you are and what you value.
4 tips to make the most of your mentorship
Finding the right mentor is only half the mentoring equation. You also need to know how to make the most of your mentor / mentee relationship. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
1. Aim for your mentorship
Sit down with your mentor to discuss what the outcome of the mentorship should be. If you do, you can both focus on the most important things in mentoring. Without clear goals, you will not know whether you are making progress or not.
2. Prepare for your sessions
Never attend a mentoring session without first preparing for it. Remember, these sessions are to your advantage, so you need to do the work to ensure that you maximize the time your mentor gives you. Before your meeting you must:
- Review the notes of your last meeting.
- List the questions you want to ask.
- Set goals for the upcoming meeting.
While it is your mentor’s responsibility to impart knowledge, you should also play a role in managing the conversations.
3. Know how to give feedback
An essential aspect of your relationship with your mentor is the feedback process. Although most of the feedback will come from them, you will also be expected to provide feedback. Here are some tips to help you:
- Avoid vague statements – be specific.
- Give feedback only when asked.
- Be descriptive rather than evaluative.
You also need to be honest with your feedback. If you try to sugar feedback, the process will only slow down. Do not be rude, but be clear.
4. Learn to take constructive criticism
Part of the growth process involves criticism. Not all feedback from your mentor will be positive. You need to learn to accept and deal with negative feedback well. Only when you are open and receptive to constructive criticism will you get the most out of your relationship with your mentor.
Remember, however: Constructive criticism is not the same as destructive criticism. The former helps to find solutions, while the latter only finds problems. Accept positive intentions – maybe you and your mentor are communicating differently, or one of you is just having a bad day.
But if you are just finding problems and not solutions, look for a new mentor and leave you kind. There are many mentors out there!
Why do you need to find a mentor?
No matter where you are in your business or career, you can benefit from a mentor.
You can have many mentors as long as their knowledge and experience do not overlap too much. Each member of your group of mentors needs to bring something unique to the table.
Some reasons why you should consider finding a mentor are:
Accelerate your progress
One of the most important benefits of mentoring is that it can speed up your progress toward a goal. Mentors help you avoid common mistakes that many make in your niche / industry. They can also show you the right steps to get where you want to go. As a result, your progress may be faster.
Expand your network
Another reason to find a mentor is that it can help you expand your mentor professional network. A mentor who has been in the industry for a long time has probably made some valuable connections. Access to a mentor can give you access to the connections.
Improve your professional skills
One of the best ways to learn and improve skills is to get someone to teach you. This is exactly what mentors do. If you want to improve your professional skills, mentoring may be the best way to do it.
Expand your view of your field, niche or industry
A common frustration that many encounter in the business world and in their career paths is hitting a plateau. This usually happens because you do not see other alternatives and ways to grow. Fortunately, because a mentor can often see the bigger picture, they can advise you to continue with an upward trajectory.
As you can see, mentoring has several benefits for your personal and professional development.
Mentoring is an essential part of the success equation. Whether you want to master digital marketing, programming or any other career discipline, is the best way to develop yourself through mentorship. No matter what your field of study, industry or even level of expertise, mentoring is one of the most effective ways to help you improve.
To make this happen, however, you need to know how to find a mentor. Using the advice above, you can improve your chances of finding the right mentor.
Have you ever been mentored or mentored? How was the experience?
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