How To Find A Mentor For Adults – There are countless bits of career advice that can be found with a quick search on Google or watching tutorial videos on YouTube, but often the best secrets to success come from personal experience.
Working with a mentor can help you learn from their experiences, whatever you may encounter in the future Whether you just want to bounce ideas around or need help preparing your first business plan for investors, having a mentor can be extremely beneficial, from boosting your confidence to expanding your business venture.
How To Find A Mentor For Adults
Previous managers or directors can be great mentors if you have a good relationship with them Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley worked with his first boss, Ken Allard, as his mentor to start Foursquare. They can often provide the best insight into your personal work style because they are more likely to understand how you work and operate.
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While it’s good to idolize you as a mentor, it’s even more important that you can connect with that person Attend networking events or industry conferences to learn from and meet people who have been in your position before, and find a mentor who can share their experiences—both good and bad.
Mark Zuckerberg’s mentor, Sean Parker Plaxow, recognized his mistakes with his startup and taught Zuckerberg the importance of balancing control over company shares.
Rajeev Shah, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, worked closely with Smithsonian Board of Regents Chairwoman Patty Stonesifer as his advisor. As he told CNNMoney, he considered her one of his most important mentors because he taught him to keep communication open and include others in the problem-solving process.
Another option is to have more than one mentor – Brian Deese at the National Economic Council lists four of his bosses as great mentors. As you get older, having multiple mentors can guide you through different experiences in life and business – whether it’s getting over the startup hump or developing a business model for an established company.
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CBS News President David Rhodes had two directors to help him build the company’s various divisions, such as the hit TV program 60 Minutes and the CBS Television Network.
Scheduling regular meetings helps build trust and deepen relationships However, to get the most out of each meeting, take notes on lessons learned and work to put them into action before the next meeting.
For example, if the topic of the meeting is customer communications, work to incorporate that advice into the work week When you have your next meeting, bring a copy of your emails and discuss with your advisor any improvements you see or need.
Going into a meeting with an agenda can set expectations and goals, but don’t feel pressured to stick to the topics listed. Let the meeting agenda items flow out because organic conversations can often lead to great ideas.
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On the same note, don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions and start a debate Debate forces you to articulate your reasoning and thought process behind the ideas you defend
Like any relationship, it’s a two-way street This will be beneficial not only for you but also for your advisor
One of the best ways to learn is to watch your mentor in action Attend a conference where your mentor is speaking or shadow them for a day at a trade show
Before the event, write down some of the goals you hope to achieve and try to strike each one throughout the day. During the event, take time to meet with your mentor peers to expand your network
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For example, if one of your goals is to improve your public speaking, pay attention to how your mentor presents and connects with the audience. If another speaker’s style catches your attention, ask what inspired his or her presentation.
After the conference is over, these notes can be a great talking point for your next meeting – going over any questions, observations and tips on how you can implement it.
While you may have all the information in the world at your fingertips, sometimes the best learning comes from building personal relationships with great leaders, peers, and teachers. After all, many tech geniuses like Bill Hewlett and David Packard had a little help before starting their empires. How to Find a Mentor: 3 Steps to Building a Relationship A strong mentor can change your career and help you outside of work.
Imagine this: someone you admire makes time to meet, how they accomplished their goals, encourages you, and gives you feedback and advice. That’s what we call a mentor
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The right mentoring relationship can be a powerful tool for professional development—whether it leads to a new job, a promotion, or a better work-life balance.
One of the tricky things about mentoring is that it’s often informal, and that can make it difficult to find an entry point. Since we know that women and people of color face higher rates of discrimination than white men in some fields, such as STEM, it can be especially helpful for women and people of color to intentionally seek out mentors.
Know your goals (both short and long term). What do you want to do professionally in the next three months? Can you do this in your current role or will it require you to change jobs? The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it will be to find the right advisor One strategy for creating effective, easily achievable goals is to work SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. Analyzing your dreams in this way allows you to break down high-level ideas into personal goals that are easier to achieve through short-term steps.
Who do you see? What job would you like to have in the next five, 10 or 15 years? Is this person inside or outside your workplace? Who is your immediate role model at work? Keep a running list of jobs and people you’re visualizing Consider an identity-based counselor in your organization, especially if you need to talk about issues you face as an underrepresented person in your professional environment.
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Do the research You may not be able to ask one of those people to be your mentor, but what are the steps to reach someone in a similar position? Take notes to get that person to where they are today
Be aware of your existing network The more aware they are of your work and abilities, the more effective they will be in advising you Think about whether someone is giving you informal advice – can you ask them to help? If someone isn’t aware of your work or you’ve never spoken to them, find a connection Make sure the person you are considering also has the experience you are looking for (We’ll talk more about this in the next section.)
For example, consultants give advice but cannot give you a new job, raise or promotion Conversely, sponsors can do that for you They can be a boss, a recruiter or even an employer in a new industry Don’t expect consultants to become sponsors, but they can put you in touch with sponsors Mentors can also be in your life for a long time, while sponsors are often short-term.
Be clear about your goals and why you think this person is the right advisor for you Be upfront about your time-commitment, what you’re willing to commit to the relationship and what you expect from them If you are clear about what you need from the start, communication will flow smoothly You can also practice this elevator pitch to other people before asking potential mentors
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Make sure it’s the right fit before asking You can realize this by having informal meetings where you discuss your goals and path, before asking them to be your mentors.
Mention what you like about the person’s work, especially if you’ve never met Say your boss introduces you to a potential mentor and you don’t know each other Research the work of a potential mentor Then open with what you like about their work That will show that you have an idea
But again, be specific about what you like about the person’s work and why you want to meet Why is talking to you worth their time? If you’ve never met before, consider starting with a phone call and work with the person’s schedule. Remember that informational interview requests are common The way you stand, like we said earlier, shows that you’ve researched their career and are specific and honest about what you’re asking.
Before COVID-19, it was best to ask for advice in person The video is fine now When you feel someone is a good fit, do your best to ask with just a phone call or email This shows that you will be open to feedback in the long run
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Goals are still important If you outline your specific, achievable goals from the beginning of the relationship, your counselor can help you stay on track.
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