When it comes to finding a career mentor, there are several things you should take into consideration before deciding who you should ask to take on this role.
Below are some tips on how to find the right mentor for you and your career.
1. Know your goals
What is it that you want to gain from a mentor?
List out your goals so that you know what you would like to accomplish.
Think about what you want to achieve professionally in the next year, three years, or five years. Can you accomplish these goals on your own, or will it require some insight? Understand what goals may require some help and what goals are easily achievable on your own. It will be easier to find a mentor if you know what your long-term goals are. If you set a timeframe for your goals, a mentor will be better able to guide you down the right path. The more specific you are with yourself and your goals, the easier it is on your mentor.
2. Find someone you want to be like
Ask yourself, “Who do I look up to? Why do I look up to them?” As a first step, identify someone that inspires you through their work and establish what about them makes you feel inspired.
Now, if the person that immediately pops into your head isn’t necessarily accessible to you, consider someone that you may know personally, professionally, or through other connections that fits your aspirations. Ask to speak with them and be prepared to take notes. Once you set up a meeting, bring along your G-450 Gel Retractable Pen and be ready to take notes on the path this person took to get where they are today. Ask any questions that you may have or explore what goals they set for themselves and what steps they took to achieve them.
Through this process, you may, in turn, find your new career mentor right then and there!
3. Find a mentor that can help your weaknesses
Turn your weakness into your biggest strength. When you are searching for a mentor, it’s ideal to seek out someone who can help you with your weaknesses. For example, if you find public speaking a challenge, try to find a mentor who can help you overcome this. Chances are they struggled with a weakness in their work history and will have valuable tips on tackling these difficulties.
4. Be aware of your current network and reputation
There’s something to be said of the adage, “You are the company you keep.” Think about how you heard of your potential mentor. Then consider how your potential mentor may have heard about you. Your network and reputation can hinder or heighten your career. For example, if you have a reputation for being punctual, professional, and driven, that will show through your work and through your network.
If you seek a mentor and are just beginning your career, remember that the individual may not be aware of your work. If this is the case, and you have never talked to them, try to find a mutual connection. Or, reach out to them directly. There’s nothing wrong with citing your potential mentor’s work or accolades as inspiration. Use examples of how you applied their work or ideas to a project and what the results were. Chances are they will feel a connection to you and be even more interested in being your mentor.
5. Set up a meeting
If you believe you have found the right mentor, don’t just jump right into things and ask them to be your mentor. Instead, ask for a brief, informal meeting. Come up with several questions that you would like to ask your potential mentor, but don’t make the meeting feel like an interview.
We suggest bringing a notebook and your G-750 Gel Retractable Pen, and asking if they don’t mind you taking notes during the meeting. This way you can be sure to write down any helpful information or tips your prospective mentor may mention, and you can readily write down any questions that may pop into your head during the initial meeting.
Once the meeting is over, be sure to ask your possible mentor for their contact information and send them a handwritten thank-you card. To write your thank-you card, we recommend using a simple, standard thank-you card with the G-750 Gel Retractable Pen. The G-750 Gel pen is perfect for writing in a card due to its smear-free ink: you won’t need to worry about any smudges in your card! When your prospective mentor receives your handwritten card, they will know you are professional, respect their time, and it may even set you apart from others that may be seeking a mentorship.
6. Develop an elevator pitch
Once you have had your initial meetings with prospective mentors and decide who you want your mentor to be, it’s time to write your elevator pitch. Understand your goals and why you believe this person will be the right mentor for you and you the right mentee for them. Be sure to include what you will be putting into the mentorship, your time-commitment abilities, and what you want to gain from this opportunity.
It will be beneficial to draft up your elevator pitch and practice it on others before taking the leap and asking your future mentor for feedback. In doing this, you can practice different deliveries to your family, friends, or coworkers and make tweaks before you deliver your pitch to your career mentor. Again, have your reliable G-750 Gel pen on hand so you can write down any suggestions or input to improve your pitch.
Remember, finding a career mentor is not a one-size fits all situation. You may have to speak with several individuals before you find the right mentor for you. Be prepared to ask questions and be realistic. Taking the time to find the right mentor could be the boost you need to advance in your career.