As you pursue your chosen career path, it can help to find a mentor that can provide guidance and insight. Whether you are looking for help with life, career or even finances, the right mentor can offer insightful advice and tips that will help you achieve your goals. The right mentor can help you improve your career, and find fulfillment in life and finances. As you look for a mentor, here are 5 things to keep in mind:
- Know what you are looking for: Be prepared to define what you are looking for in a mentor, and what type of help and advice you are most interested. You don’t want to be too specific in your definitions, since you want your mentor to offer truly useful information, but you should have a general idea of where you are going.
- Look for someone you respect: Choose someone you respect. This person might have some expertise in a specific field, or be someone you admire for various reasons. You don’t necessarily need someone with a big name. Choose someone who has achieved some of the things you hope to accomplish, and someone you have a decent amount of respect for.
- Approach someone with a similar communication style: Consider your communication style before you begin looking for a mentor. Think about communication mediums, as well as your personality and style. You either need to choose someone who communicates in a way that is similar to you, or whose style you can learn to understand or relate to.
- Consider whether or not you want to become a clone: In most cases, a mentor isn’t going to try to turn you into a clone. However, you do need to decide whether or not you want a mentor that is more into directing you, and shaping you (and whether you want to be shaped), or someone who is more interested in providing you with insight and advice, and letting you find your own way. Decide which style suits you best, and look for a mentor that fits.
- It’s fine to have more than one mentor: You can even choose more than one mentor if you are looking at different aspects of your career, or life. It doesn’t hurt to get ideas from different sources.
Working with Your Mentor
As you work with your mentor, it’s important to show gratitude for his or her help. Express your gratitude through a thank you note, a thoughtful gift, or in some other way. In some cases, a mentor will simply answer emailed questions, and you can receive helpful advice and guidance from your correspondence. In other cases, you might meet in person, or speak over the phone. How you interact depends on what you both are comfortable with.
Also, remember that some potential mentors may not have time right now. Don’t take it personally if your desired mentor turns you down. It’s probably not personal, and he or she might willing to answer one or two questions on a specific topic, rather than becoming an all-out mentor.
Your mentor can help you earn more, set a news career path, or find greater fulfillment in life. A carefully chosen mentor can also help you network, and improve your opportunities.
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.