A mentor is a teacher, counselor, advisor and guide adding priceless value to your life. So when you are ready to accept this wealth of information make sure you are getting it from someone who can guide you in the right path. Learning how to find a mentor in business is time well spent as the right mentor really can make all the difference in your career.
What Are You Looking For?
Before you look for your mentor find out what you need to help you grow and how a mentor can help achieve the goals you set for yourself. Perform an honest and objective evaluation to determine your strength and weaknesses. Based on this evaluation select the qualifications and personality traits of your mentor.
Don’t Limit Who The Mentor Can Be
No matter how open minded we think we are we tend to stereotype. This can be a handicap when you are searching for a mentor. The age, gender, appearance and place of employment should not determine your selection process.
Almost everyone assumes a mentor has to be older than you and this not the case.
If someone younger and of the opposite has the qualities and traits you want to pursue than by all means don’t let it deter you.
If your mind is set on a particular person you have to be persistent and don’t give up until you make your case. Once you get the opportunity to make your case you have take advantage of the situation by selling the person on the idea of being a mentor.
If all else fails you can always stroke their ego by praising their credentials and claiming five minutes with them will be better than days with another person.
Choosing someone only for their knowledge and experience can make it very hard to relate to the person. So much so you might block everything they are trying to teach you because of personality conflicts. You have to find the right balance between similarities and differences so you can forge a mentor- mentee relationship that is based on mutual respect.
The mentor has to have a reason to invest his or her time on you. You have to sell yourself as your life depended on it because they want to invest on a winner. No matter how altruistic the mentor might be they want their efforts to bear fruit with your success. They have to see potential and it is your job to show them that potential.
What Is Success?
If you don’t have clear objectives when you begin your association with your mentor it will be difficult to determine whether it was a success. If the mentor has previous experience with other mentees in the past you can find out the impact they had on the person and whether they considered the experience a success. Another way to gauge success is the direction the mentor has moved your progress. A great mentor knows their limitations and if they point you in the right direction with resources, opportunities or a more experienced mentor than you should consider it a success.
The key to finding the right mentor is understanding what you need and finding a person with the qualifications to fulfill those needs.
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