Have you ever wondered how to find a mentor? As children, it seems like everything we do is guided by someone helping us, whether it is a parent, a teacher, or a coach. As we get older there is a shift; we learn to make our own choices and to follow our own paths. But we still want and need guidance, which will most likely come from a mentor who can help us find professional satisfaction and push us to be all that we can be. The question is, how to find them?
How to find a mentor (note this is not a step by step list)
First things first, remember mentors come in all different forms. When looking to meet with a potential mentor, ask yourself one simple question: what is it that you need from them? Don’t focus on “let’s sit down and have coffee or let’s have a cocktail,” but what is the one thing that you need this person to guide you through? This person is here to encourage you, but it is you that ultimately holds the outcome.
Secondly, look for inspiration in life from everyone you encounter, and treat every experience as an opportunity to learn and as one where you can give insight. We often hear successful individuals talk about how their mentor would encourage them, give insight, and help identify opportunities while avoiding pitfalls. When we think of a mentor we think about someone who has “been there, done that.” Pay special attention to those you can learn the most from, but don’t forget that everyone has unique life experiences, and any person may just have the right words of wisdom for you at that moment. Find someone who is open to sharing feedback with you, shares your values, and then build a support system where you can leverage these mentoring moments and relationships. The reality is that we don’t have to seek the perfect mentor, mentors come in all different forms and we should not limit ourselves to one individual. You should seek out helpful advice with more than one person. If you open yourself up to finding mentoring moments with many different people at various stages, you can gain valuable insight from a diverse set of people, which can be better than just having one mentor.
Lastly, mentors are crucial in helping individuals connect the dots between their abilities and their potential; their goals, and their successes. They provide the advice, confidence, and reassurance that you are heading in the right direction. So, get out there and find your mentors. Who knows, they might be people you already interact with. And then remember to pay it forward. You can be a mentor too! Being a mentor is about believing in somebody and caring enough to share your knowledge. Mentorship is about being able to empower each other, being willing to listen and give advice. You never know who needs it most.