Choosing a Mentor : Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

When you come to the decision that you wish to seek the advice of a mentor, you have some decisions to make. The most important of these is of course who you will choose to be your mentor. There are options out there, such as choosing an old friend, an old colleague, a recent colleague, a local mentor recommended to you, or an online mentor. So, when it comes to choosing a mentor, how do you know who will be right for you?

choosing a mentor

Choosing a Mentor : Recommendations

When looking for any product or service, we find ourselves looking at recommendations, generally online. We also ask our friends and close family for recommendations. But, as with all things, one size does not fit all. Your friend may love a new food product, but it may not be to your taste. The same can be said for mentors. When you meet your mentor for the first time you will feel at ease by the end of the first session. If you don’t it’s because the mentor is not the right one for you. Choosing a mentor is not difficult; it’s just a job that needs to be done properly.

There are many reasons why a mentor that is recommended to you may not suit you. He may be too old, he may not be experienced in your field, or he may provide the exact type of mentoring services that you need. Some women prefer to be mentored only by women. Some people find it hard to take advice from a mentor who is actually younger than themselves.

Online Mentoring

When choosing a mentor, you may opt for online mentoring. This can be done via Skype very easily. But, it’s not for everyone. It can be hard to take advice from someone that you have never met in person. A good compromise here is to have some personal sessions first, and then follow up sessions via Skype. The best mentoring relationships are built up over time, and they will last for many years, coming to a natural end.

Many people look towards colleagues in their workplace as mentors or coaches. Perhaps someone who is in a managerial position who has worked their way up the rankings? This may seem like the perfect choice for a mentor, but once again, one size doesn’t fit all. Depending on what you hope to get out of your mentoring sessions, an outside influence from someone you have not met before can often be better than someone who is essentially your boss, or who can tell you what to do.

Choosing a mentor is not an easy task, but it is not difficult either. If you are going to choose someone you do not know, then make sure that the person is knowledgeable about your industry and niche. This, combined with local knowledge can set the base for a prosperous mentoring relationship that will last for many years or even for decades to come.

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