How to Find a Mentor and Take Your Career to the Next Level
Table of Contents
Going through your professional journey can be challenging, especially if you are starting in a new field or got promoted to a role that requires different skills. Having a relationship with someone more experienced than you can significantly boost your success in every area of life. Mentors have knowledge, resources, and network that can help you reach your goals quicker and with greater confidence.
This article will discuss what a mentor is, why you should consider getting one, and the steps to find the right mentor for you.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is someone who acts as a guide to someone less experienced than him.
The ideal mentor is as close as possible to the desired goals of the mentee.
A good mentor is someone willing to commit his time and knowledge to support your path to success. He offers advice, connects you to his network, and generally won’t ask for payment for his assistance.
In many companies, the more experienced employees act as mentors for new hires. They offer insights from their experiences to help others avoid common mistakes and reach competency faster.
The Importance of Having a Mentor
Having a mentor can feel like a cheat code. Imagine having someone by your side who went through the path that you are planning on taking. He has already faced and conquered major obstacles that will come your way, and he can use his experience to help you out.
When dealing with challenges, instead of wasting precious time in trial and error, you can get advice from your mentor, who already went through these struggles before.
And his advice doesn’t have to be a straightforward solution to your problem (because you may face different situations than he encountered before). But he will point you in the right direction. He will explain the mental model you can use to solve the problem in front of you. That by itself is extremely valuable.
While your co-workers beat around the bush to find answers, you can stand on the shoulders of giants and reach your goals faster.
Ideally, your mentor operates within the same domain as you, so he will be the best person to help you along the way. But you will undoubtedly encounter situations where more than his advice is needed.
In those cases, your mentor can use his network to introduce you to the right people who will help you break through.
Your mentor’s contact list can contain more opportunities than you think. From business connections to an interview in your dream company – your mentor can open doors you can’t open by yourself.
Product marketers must check out the analytics after publishing any marketing campaign to see how the campaign performed. They may need to mess with the data to understand how different age groups reacted to the ad or extract valuable insight about the mobile click vs. desktop. Very often, an A/B testing process is involved, which allows experimenting with multiple variations of the same campaign. Product marketer must have a technical affinity to analyze these data sources skillfully.
Source of Inspiration and Accountability
A mentor is someone you can look up to and get inspiration from along the way. You can envision yourself in their shoes and get motivated by it.
Also, in this world where distractions are everywhere, staying focused is easier when you understand clearly where you are heading. Having someone you look up by your side can give you that clarity.
In addition, this person will keep you accountable and ensure you stay the course. A good mentor will constantly ask you for updates and challenge you to do better.
4 Ways for Finding a Great Mentor
1. Understand Your Needs
Before you start sending messages to every top performer you know, you should ask yourself: Why do you want a mentor?
Do you want to get promoted at work? Do you wish to change your profession? Maybe you just want someone who can offer your advice when you tackle a tricky challenge.
After that, think about the characteristics of your future mentor. Do you need a veteran with 20 years of experience? Does he need to have specific credentials? Does he need to be extra empathetic or passionate?
Whatever the case, knowing your intentions will ensure you get the most out of this relationship.
2. Tap Into your Existing Network
Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to start searching. We suggest scanning your current connections and seeing who fits your criteria. Think about your past managers, experienced co-workers, and anyone who offered you valuable advice over the years.
Look for people who have already achieved what you want to achieve. You can scroll through your contacts on your phone or explore your LinkedIn connections to get ideas on who you should approach first.
If you can’t find anyone, it could be helpful to ask your colleagues and friends if they know someone who fits your description.
3. Meetups and Programs
If your existing network can’t provide you with the mentor you are looking for, it’s time to look outside your circle.
Check out Meetup.com or a service like Eventbrite to connect with people who share your interests and passions. Meetups are a fun way to get out of your comfort zone, explore new perspectives, and meet interesting people. If you meet or talk to someone impressive, follow up with him and ask him to mentor you.It’s also possible that your current company has a mentorship program you can join. This can be an easy way to find a mentor. Alternatively, consider joining other programs that dedicate themselves to bringing together mentors with mentees. Explore Give & Tech’s mentorship program, where we match you with a professional expert in your field, and connect you for four months of intensive 1:1 sessions to help you with your career goals.
4. Learn How to be a Great Mentee
It is crucial to remember that mentorship goes both ways. You must dedicate yourself to the process to get the most out of it. When your mentor advises something, take action and come back with conclusions. Share your thoughts about various topics and contribute back in any way you can to express your gratitude.
Your mentor may be a very busy individual. It’s essential to show you value their time and that you don’t take that help for granted. Be proactive and own the process.
5. Own the competition
It is helpful to know the ins and outs of your competition – both direct and indirect. That way, you can easily create a comparison infographic to size your product against the other players in the market. Also, when you join sales demos, you can advise a prospect still trying to figure out the best product available on the market. Competitors evolve just like you, so make sure you check their websites, user reviews, and email newsletter every once in a while.
Having a mentor can be a valuable asset to anyone looking to grow and succeed in their personal or professional life. A mentor is someone who acts as a guide, providing advice and support, and who can open up new opportunities through their network.
It’s essential to understand what kind of mentor you need and actively seek them out through your existing network, meetups, or mentorship programs. With the right mentor, you can save time and effort, stay inspired and motivated, and reach your goals faster and more confidently.