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4 Tips to Finding the Perfect Mentor

When you’re juggling a career, social life, and hobbies, finding time for career-related training is challenging. One way to improve your skills is by taking a course or program. Another is to read many books. However, one of the most effective ways is to learn from a mentor with the skills and experience you’re looking for. Finding the perfect mentor is not easy, but there are some tips you can follow to find the right one for you.

Tip 1: Choose a mentoring style you’re excited about

To learn from someone with a social media presence, start with an online search. Follow this person on their social media platforms, watch their videos, or subscribe to their newsletters. If they have free seminars or workshops, sign up for them. Your purpose is to learn more about their teaching style, as well as what they teach. You want to choose a mentor whose style resonates well with you.

To learn from a mentor you’ve met in person, build a connection. Most likely this person doesn’t have an online presence because they don’t offer mentoring professionally. They don’t have courses or videos available for you to learn from. This person may be a coworker or someone in your professional network. You’ve heard their advice during a networking event or an informal discussion and their advice resonates with you.

Whether your mentor is a well-known celebrity or someone you know personally, ask yourself if your mentor challenges you. Someone with similar life experience or skills may not be able to mentor you as well as someone with a higher level of skill or more years of experience.

Tip 2: Take action and start learning

When you’ve found someone you like as a mentor, ask yourself if your mentor can motivate you to get results.

Your mentor should inspire you to take action when you watch their YouTube video or teach you about a new concept. Their message should excite you so much that you want to learn and change. They should also be approachable. For example, you should feel comfortable having dinner with them without feeling nervous.

Their mentorship should have you thirsting for more knowledge about the same topic or madly scribbling notes. You should be excited about applying what they are trying to teach you as soon as possible.

To get the best results from working with a mentor, have some goals in mind. The worst scenario is to be too general about what you want your mentor to teach you. If your mentor posts a lot of learning material online, focus on one topic at a time, not getting your hands on everything they have ever published. If your mentor wants to help you improve your skills, don’t set a general goal, such as, “I want to get better at my career.” Set specific goals and share these with your mentor.

Tip 3: Choose a mentor who chooses you

Getting feedback from your mentor is important. Don’t just take classes with your mentor. Sign up for coaching sessions or group sessions to practice what you’ve learned. Take your mentor out for coffee and ask for an evaluation. Get feedback on your progress as often as you can.

If you can schedule an hour with your mentor, plan goals in advance. Prepare questions to ask your mentor, or list what you’d like to improve on before your meeting. Set clear expectations and outcomes to show your mentor that you respect their time.

Work with a mentor who is invested in your future. After receiving feedback, take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned. Was the feedback valuable? Can you use the feedback to make improvements? Did your mentor seem genuinely invested in providing you with meaningful goals and useful feedback?

A mentor who is a good match will encourage you, tell you what progress you’ve made, be honest in their critique, and help you set goals for next steps.

Tip 4: Focus on making progress

Finding the right mentor is like an investment. You want someone who is approachable, excited about what you want to learn, and honest when mentoring you. It will feel uncomfortable and even painful to be told that you aren’t doing something well. However, if you only spend time doing things that you already excel at, you will not grow as a person.

Embrace change and getting uncomfortable. You chose this mentor because they are great at something that you aren’t. Follow their lead and get comfortable facing your fears. Each time you challenge yourself to try a small goal, you make progress. When you look back, you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come.

In life, the best direction to keep moving in is forward. After you reach one milestone in the road, aim for a new one. Always keep challenging yourself and you will grow as a person.

Key Takeaways

Finding the perfect mentor is a search for a two-way relationship. Your mentor should be someone you are inspired to learn from, but also someone who is excited about seeing your career advance to the next level.

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