Maybe you’re a young professional, and you’re wondering how you can get ahead in your chosen career path. Or perhaps you’re transitioning to a new field, and you need some guidance as you navigate an unfamiliar industry. Mentorship is a crucial aspect of professional development, and connecting with a coach or mentor through a service like Forever Young People can help you achieve your biggest goals. Here are a few tips to help you find a mentor in your field, request their support, and make the most of this relationship.
Consider Your Needs
Before you reach out to a potential mentor, think about what you’re really hoping to gain from mentorship. Are you trying to learn new skills in hopes of landing a promotion? Do you want to learn about entrepreneurship so that you can start your own business rather than working at a 9-to-5 job? Or are you aiming to improve your soft skills in the workplace? Make sure that whoever you contact has the background and experience to help you with your specific objectives.
Do you have to find a mentor at your current workplace? Not necessarily! Psychology Today recommends looking for possible mentors at industry conferences, alumni association events, gatherings for professional organizations, and even on social media. You might also meet people with expertise in your field through volunteering or community groups.
You’re finally ready to ask someone if they would be your mentor - but how can you do so effectively and politely? Yale suggests requesting an hour-long meeting with your prospect. This will be your opportunity to discuss why you’re interested in working with them, what you’re looking for in a mentor, and a gracious expression of your thanks.
Meeting with your mentor once or twice won’t be of much benefit. Instead, make it a point to work with them on a consistent basis, and update them on your progress in the workplace. You may want to talk to them about setting up regular meetings so that you’re motivated to stick with your commitment. Keep an ongoing list of questions to ask them - remember, you want to learn as much from your mentor as you can.
If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, it’s especially important to stay on top of time management while balancing client work and time with your mentor. To that end, here’s a productivity tip: track your time efficiently. By leaning on tools like time trackers, project management software, and communication applications, you can organize your schedule, stay productive, and keep in touch with your mentor as well as your colleagues, staff, clients, and so forth.
Remember, your mentor is taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you and offer you advice. They’re choosing to engage in mentorship out of kindness, and sharing your gratitude with your mentor is essential for a mutually beneficial relationship. When you succeed at one of your goals, reach out to them and let them know how their guidance helped you in your latest accomplishment! And if you will be working with your mentor for a limited timeline, make sure to send them a gift and sincere thank-you letter after your final meeting, with the promise to keep in touch in the future.
Finding a great mentor can take time, and asking someone to be your mentor can feel intimidating! But if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, seeking out a mentor is well worth the effort. By working with a mentor, you can work your way up the career ladder with expert advice from someone who has walked in your shoes before.
Ready to invest in your professional future? Sign up for a personalised coaching package through Forever Young People! Reach out through the contact form on our website today to learn more about our services.
Thank you Tina Martin for this great piece!