Mentors aren’t just for executives or X Factor contestants. They can be a real catalyst for you as an individual, or for your business. A mentor will guide you, allowing you to improve as a person. A good mentor relationship is one that is valuable for both parties. So, how to find a career mentor? There are some considerations you need to make, and no one solution fits all. Find out how to go about your search, with my tips as a career mentor working in Bristol.
How to Find a Career Mentor : The Job Market
The job market in the UK is increasingly volatile. What this means is that hiring a mentor is even more beneficial than it was before. It doesn’t matter if you are fresh out of school, a graduate, or in your 40’s or 50’s; you are never too old to use the services of a good mentor. Having a mentor will give you a new perspective on life, both work, and social. Fresh ideas and learning from other people’s experiences is what mentoring is all about. So, let’s get back to the question of how to find a career mentor.
First things first, why do you want a mentor? Perhaps you have reached a crossroads in your life and don’t know which way to turn. Or it might be the case that you fancy a career change, but are unsure if your ideas are realistic or not. Before you enter into a relationship with a mentor you need to have mapped out what you hope to achieve. A mentor will not tell you what to do, he will guide you. You will need to know what you hope to achieve from mentoring sessions before you start. When searching for the answer of our question, how to find a career mentor, you also need to be sure that a mentor for business is what you need. If you need a sounding board and help make choices, then a life coach may be a better choice. You may also consider coaching programmes that are designed for people from all walks of life.
Where to Find a Career Mentor
The first place you can look for a mentor is within your network, both online and offline. Maybe you are already following a mentor on Twitter or are interested in a LinkedIn profile you have seen. More traditional methods would be to ask around colleagues who have used the services of a mentor in the past. You may also find a mentor through various schemes.
Mentor schemes are designed to match mentors with prospective clients. This type of service is useful if you are new to an area, and cannot ask for advice from those around you. You might be relocating and in search of a career mentor in your new city. These types of schemes only use the services of professional mentors with a positive track record, allowing you to find a mentor that will suit you relatively easily.
Having said this, it is important that you feel comfortable with your mentor in order for the relationship to work. Just like in personal relationships, there needs to be a good chemistry between you and your mentor. Don’t however make the mistake of getting too comfortable with your chosen mentor and treating them like a friend. Your mentoring sessions should be about your goals and career, and you should always stick to a schedule and plan what you will discuss.
Progression of your Mentoring Relationship
All mentoring relationships will end at some point, naturally. So, don’t become reliant on your mentor to give you answers. He is there to help you improve and make decisions yourself. Let’s look at the analogy of learning to ride a bicycle. At first you would use two stabilizers, then one, and finally, you would ride free. The same will happen with your mentoring relationship. You will come to a point where you feel confident to go it alone. This is a sign of a mentoring relationship that was healthy and was a success.
If you are in search of a mentor, be clear about what you want out of the relationship. This will cut down the length of time it takes for you to find a suitable mentor. If you are not sure whether you need or want a mentor or not, now is not the time to start looking for one. What do you hope to achieve from hiring a career mentor? If you are not sure, go back, and ask yourself this very question before you go onto our next question, how to find a career mentor.