Mentoring Series Part 2 - Finding a Mentor
Contributed by Rachel Appiah
The previous post- Mentoring Series Part 1 - The Significance of a Mentor, touched on the benefits of having a mentor and how it contributes to our personal development. However, I’m aware that the process of finding a mentor is not always so simple, so here are some tips to help you on your journey.
1. Identify what you want from the relationship
I say this because often mentors have busy schedules and do not have the time to chase after you. It is important to be proactive and show your eagerness. This will allow your mentor to effectively plan and decide on the best way to help you. Also, this shows your mentor that you have a vision and people only invest where they see potential and value.
If you want a mentor to give you an insight into their career, think about potential questions you would ask, the possibility of shadowing them and always be ready to take notes on important information they share.
2. Attend networking events
This is a perfect environment to find a mentor because you are most likely going to be surrounded by professionals from different sectors. If you struggle to come out of your comfort zone this is a good way to overcome that. Many networking events are promoted on Twitter, LinkedIn and Eventbrite so I would suggest that you utilise these platforms as a starting point.
In my opinion, this way is more effective than reaching out to strangers as they may be reluctant. However, at networking events, you can build rapport and showcase your personality. A useful tip is to take contact details after you have spoken to people as you can always follow up with them and connect on LinkedIn.
3. Research existing mentoring schemes
It is good to be pro-active about finding yourself a mentor but this does not rule out the existing opportunities which are already available out there. There are many mentoring schemes and some through organisations like The Brokerage, Social Mobility Foundation, PWC's mentoring scheme and the US Programme. Also, many corporate organisations engage in mentoring for junior staff, if this is of interest to you make sure you research this and get involved.
4. Do not be afraid to ask
This probably sounds obvious; however, this is something that people struggle with. I have already established a balance that it is better to ask people whom you have built a rapport with. So, when I say, ‘do not be afraid to ask’ I am referring to asking people around you, for example, a neighbour or family friend whose work rate you admire. Let them know that you would like to learn from them. I know from experience that this is something that works, do not allow fear or pride to hinder you from your destiny.
And on that note Happy New Year, I hope this series and other subsequent posts will propel you to greatness this year.
By Rachel Appiah