How to Find a Mentor
One of the best ways to accelerate career growth is to find a mentor. Someone that can be your champion and help you better navigate your profession and industry. Because a mentor is typically more senior, you’ll learn to avoid their mistakes and use their successes as a blueprint.
Mentors often come along when you least expect it. A boss or peer will see something special in you and then take you under their wing. Accept the guidance. Nurture the relationship. Book time with them, keep them updated on your progress and your challenges and share how their guidance helped you.
I think it is most common to find a mentor at work but you may also find one through business associations, friendships, college professors, etc. The important thing is to identify someone who can challenge you to be better, who can call you on your stuff, and can give you direct feedback.
I have been blessed to have had many professional mentors throughout my career and believe that they all played a significant role in my success. So if you have not identified a mentor – seek one. Being asked to be a mentor for someone is a huge honor – so don’t be shy – ask! And if they’re too busy to take on the relationship, don’t take it personally and ask them for a recommendation. They may have a peer that would be a better fit.
The Benefits of Becoming a Mentor:
I have had the privilege to mentor many amazing people throughout my career and it is by far the most rewarding part of being a leader. I especially love the ones who had a bit of a rocky start and with some direct feedback and coaching, found their path and their professional success. If you have an opportunity to take someone you see potential in under your wing – do it. You will not regret it!
I hired a young ambitious woman as my admin assistant (with no real experience as an admin) when she was in her early 20s. Within 2 year she had moved into the marketing department and soon after moved on to a higher level position in a new company. Now 15 years later she is a CMO! I am so proud of her and grateful to have had the opportunity to provide a start for her.