Having a mentor at the beginning of a business career can be a great business opportunity that should not be missed. The mentor will answer all your questions, offer you advice and help with all your doubts. In a very short time, with a quality mentor who matches your character and who can help you on the business side, you can achieve your business goals very quickly - reports Zaposlena hr.
A good mentor can be a great encouragement, can help you make some business contacts and get feedback more easily. There is no doubt that a mentor instills a dose of security and gives a wind at your back in cases where you yourself are thinking about what to do next in your career.
However, a mentor is not only helpful to those who are at the beginning of their business career. Regardless of whether you have just graduated or have advanced to the position of manager, the mentor will help you run your business.
Research shows that those who have a mentor can progress faster, earn more, and are ultimately more satisfied with their business career.
And although most experts agree that it is useful to have a mentor, there are few (especially at the beginning of their career) who know how to find a mentor who suits them, in order to achieve a good relationship from which both parties can derive maximum benefit.
Below are 10 tips that will help you find the perfect mentor and achieve successful mentoring.
How can a mentor help you?
A mentor is someone who can be your best guide and a person who will give you confidence and advice to try new opportunities. It will help you navigate challenging situations such as, for example, taking on new tasks or moving to a new workplace.
Often, the person who will be your mentor will be someone who works in the same or similar industry as you or in a position in the industry you want to move into. She can help you discover the right way to advance your career.
Establish clear goals
Before you even start looking for a mentor, think about what you would like to achieve with the relationship. The goal of most mentoring is to help you overcome a hurdle or transition in your business career and become better at an area of work where you need more guidance and better support.
Think about what you would like to learn from your mentoring relationship. Identify the gaps you lack and what you need to do your job better.
Find the right mentor
Once you've determined what skills you'd like to improve or questions you'd like answered in your field, check out your surroundings. Maybe one of your co-workers or colleagues, family friends or colleagues you studied with can help you. Also, there are mentoring programs through which women network and help each other in building their careers.
When choosing a mentor, it is not essential that she be the director. It can only be a few positions above you. In fact, someone who was in your position three years ago may have more relevant and accurate advice than someone who is 20 or 30 years older than you. That person has been out of touch with what's going on at your level of employment for a long time, so he can't give you the right advice.
Do not exclude female mentors from other fields
Sometimes it's good to have a mentor who works in a completely different field than yours. Namely, such a mentor can give you a different perspective and teach you some new skills. It can help you understand how to work with people from different fields, adjust your communication styles and think more creatively.
Make a strong connection
There is no single way to establish a good mentoring relationship. If you don't want to be direct and clearly ask for mentoring help, you can make contact with a potential mentor and let the relationship develop naturally.
Invite a potential mentor to coffee where you can casually talk about work and the challenges you are currently facing. If you are not in the same city or because of the corona virus pandemic you do not want to expose yourself to additional risk, we suggest a virtual coffee with the help of some online applications.
It is important that you feel comfortable in the company of the mentor so that you can reveal to her the doubts you have about yourself and your work. Be prepared to be open, honest and a little vulnerable because the mentor must be familiar with all your challenges and weaknesses.
Be specific about what you want
Be sure to do everything in order to best explain to your potential mentor exactly what you do and what you want support for. Also, point out why you are addressing her and not someone else. If you understand with yourself exactly what you are looking for and why you think that person would be the right choice, and you communicate it in the best way, it will help that person to say "yes" to your mentoring proposal.
In the same way, the mentor may realize that she is not the right person who could provide you with what you expect, which will explain, save your time and hers, and you will be able to focus your energy on looking for another person.
Make it easy for the mentor
Respect your mentor's time and take care of the time and place of the meeting or the time of the video call. Make it easy for her and accommodate her schedule as much as possible. Also, consider sending her a list of questions the day before the meeting so she has time to think about the answers that can best help you.
Listen and show that you appreciate the help
If your mentor suggested you read a book or implement a business plan, do it. Show that you care by letting her know how you feel. Send her an email or talk about it in a meeting.
In case you have an online meeting via Zoom, ask the mentor if you can record the conversation so that later you can repeat everything you talked about during the meeting and note down what is important for your work. Also, you can later reflect on the suggestions and ideas you received.
You will change mentors during your career
You will hardly have the same mentor for every desire for progress and learning. You will change a few of them over time, depending on where you are at the moment and what you need at that moment. At times when your career is progressing or you are changing jobs and you are interested in different opportunities and challenges, you can once again determine your goals and find mentors who could help you achieve them.
Your mentor has a private life, a job, and some responsibilities of her own, so show respect and gratitude to her for taking the time for you. But don't stop there. Try to find other ways to show gratitude and kindness. Whenever you have a chance, remember your mentor. For example, when the head of your department is looking for an employee at a higher level, and you think your mentor is an ideal candidate, suggest her and do her a favor.
And finally, you want to make sure that your mentor knows that you care about her as much as you expect her to care about you.