How to Find a Good Mentor?
Posted on March 26, 2019
Mentoring is empowering young people to develop personally and professionally to their full potential with the help of a mentor. The mentor empowers the mentee by sharing his skills, knowledge, and experience in the field
Why is mentoring required?
In the current times, mentoring has become relevant because most young individuals are confused in terms of what exactly their goals are, how they should go about achieving them, etc.
Mentoring helps an individual have an unbiased view of where he/she stands currently. Based on this he can choose where he wants to be and how to achieve his aspirations. Mentors share their expertise and knowledge assisting the mentees to make the necessary changes in their personal and professional lives so that they are on-route to achieve their goals.
Mentoring is not just giving advice to the mentee based on the experience of the mentor but it entails enabling the mentee to identify his goals based on his aptitude and interests. Also, it should not be misunderstood that the mentor identifies these for the mentee. The keyword here is “empowering”. The mentee himself ascertains his goals and obstacles in his path. He then works on the best approach for resolving them. The mentor motivates and guides the mentee.
This makes it obvious that a mentor should not be overtly dominating but have a patient approach. Hence, if you are looking for a mentor whether it is for professional or personal growth, it is vital that you select a good one.
This leads us to the question, “”What are the qualities of a good mentor?””
If you are seeking mentorship for professional growth in a specific field, you should choose a mentor who is an expert in the subject matter.
He should have the ability to make you comfortable in his presence so that you are able to discuss your issues without any fear.
The mentor should be reliable, honest, and trustworthy. You will definitely not like him/her discussing confidential matters with others.
Select a mentor who is a good listener. He/she should give you an opportunity to speak without interrupting you.
The mentor should not be judgmental. On the contrary, he should be empathetic.
The mentor should have the ability to express himself clearly so that he is able to pass on his expertise and knowledge to the mentee positively.
An experienced mentor will be able to help the mentee develop his strengths and potential. The mentee will be able to identify his needs and aspirations and goals.
When you are contemplating engaging a mentor, it is a good idea to have clarity on certain aspects prior to it:
- Firstly, analyze your objective. Ask yourself why you need a mentor? What do you expect to achieve through the mentorship?
- If you are convinced that you require mentorship, the next step would be to identify the type of mentorship that would work ideally for you. There are different types of mentorships available such as:
Induction Mentor: This mentorship is offered to new joiners in an organization to help them through the settling period.
Peer Mentoring: This type of mentoring is offered to employees as they progress in their careers. In this type, the colleagues mentor each other in areas such as project management, etc.
Developmental mentoring: This type of mentorship entails the synergy that the mentor and mentee create between themselves leading to improved strategies and action plans leading to success on a personal and professional level.
- When looking for mentorship, build a relationship with your mentor slowly. Get acquainted with your mentor and spend time with him/her to check if the two of you vibe well
- A common mistake while looking for a mentor is that the mentees restrict themselves to looking for an executive in their specific field of interest. A good mentor will be able to provide the necessary guidance irrespective of his field
- A mentorship service is a voluntary service and not a paid one. However, it is recommended that you offer some kind of compensation which need not exactly be monetary to your mentor
- While becoming a mentee, one of the basic qualities required is that you should be an individual who has the willingness to help himself instead of expecting the mentor to do everything
The next question is “”How to find a good mentor?””
The key to finding a good mentor is “”Networking.””
A good starting point could be your own network.
Look for professionals who have expert subject knowledge in the area of your interest. However, having a mentor from your close group could be quite awkward. But, if you feel a sense of comfort with the mentor in question, there is no harm in going ahead.
Students can approach their professors, etc. for mentorship.
Another possibility of connecting with a mentor is through your alumni network. Your circle of friends in your alumni could recommend mentors who are known to them.
Outside Your Network
It is not necessary that you will find a mentor in your existing network. Don’t be disappointed! There are multiple avenues for you to network and find a mentor for yourself.
A good place to find a mentor is attending events in your field of interest. It is here that you will be able to interact with executives who are experts in their field. They could be the speakers or attendees. You can build your network and maybe connect with the right mentor.
Another avenue could be joining a professional group. This will offer you ample opportunity to interact with executives in the group and find the mentor who fulfills your criteria for a mentor.
Last, but definitely not the least, look online for finding a mentor. Various social media channels not only help in finding a mentor but also offer “virtual mentorship”. Virtual mentorship is when there is no face-to-face interaction between the mentor and the mentee but they interact in cyberspace.
Some of the popular platforms for mentorship are:
The LinkedIn community has over 530 million professionals! It is a rich source of skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable executives. LinkedIn serves as a platform where professionals who are interested to work as mentors can apply for the same mentioning their specific area of expertise. This is an opportunity for the youth to connect with such executives and benefit from their knowledge and experience.
Twitter is another popular platform that can help connect mentors and mentees.
Over 200 million people on Facebook are members of some group or the other. Facebook has now developed channels for members to form mentor-mentee relationships that are mutually beneficial.
The process is fairly simple where
- The group admin establishes a mentorship program
- Group members register as mentors or mentees for the program
- Mentor and mentee pair is formed and the individuals are introduced to each other
One of the best avenues to become a part of a mentorship program is by joining iConnectX. It is a social platform that helps connect professionals with executives and subject matter experts that have experience in their field. These professionals offer mentorship, business opportunities or knowledge sharing for a fee. And, this fee is donated by the executive or subject matter expert to a charity of their choice. iConnectX offers you the opportunity to network with executives and experts who have the necessary mentoring experience and can empower you to achieve your goals and through the process, support the nonprofit community.