How to Find A Career Mentor

How to Find A Career Mentor

Making decisions, even common ones like picking a matching outfit or a restaurant to eat at can be a hassle. We all find it difficult sometimes to make a choice especially when we are faced with a vast array of options. In situations like that, we may need to invite a second pair of eyes. You could ask your fashionable friend or family to help you color coordinate and pick an outfit, or maybe ask them to assist you when you go clothes shopping and you can use the internet to find the best-ranked restaurants in your area. Who do you go to when you want to make important decisions that concern your career?


Making decisions in your work life is much more serious than choosing an outfit or picking a restaurant. The choices you make can make or mar your professional life. When you are at crossroads and need expert advice on what to do, then you may be in need of the services of a career mentor. A career mentor or guide will gladly aid you in making the right career decisions.

Who is a career mentor? A career mentor is an individual who coaches people in career challenges such as professional development or promotion. Career mentors steer their mentees in the direction of a career that suits and works best for them. They provide a better understanding of a specific field, point out opportunities, and even give tips on how to make job seeking easier and efficient, how to successfully pass through recruitment processes and interviews, and how to secure a good job offer. They can also act as referees or give their clients referrals. A career mentor basically acts as a counselor to all things pertaining to your work life. A mentor/mentee relationship can stem from or easily become a viable professional network. Building a professional connection with a mentor can open doors of opportunity for a mentee. With the many advantages you can gain from a mentor, it is clear that anyone at any stage of their career can benefit from their services. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to decide on a career path to follow, are still seeking a job, are new in your career, facing challenges in your present career, or trying to switch careers.


However, it is risky to ask and apply the advice from just anybody. You need someone you can trust, someone you believe can give you valuable directions. So you may be thinking, “How do I recognize a good career mentor?” or most importantly, “How do I find one?” Search no more. This article has prepared three steps that will lead you to a career mentor.

  • Know Why you Need a Mentor: Do you need a mentor because everyone else is getting one? Before you go sourcing for a mentor, know specifically, the reasons why you need help. A tip prospective mentees have found helpful is writing down what their challenges or goals are. It’s like recognizing and knowing your symptoms before going to the doctor. That way, you can easily show and tell them where it hurts. Being aware of your career need can assist you with the choice of a mentor. Identifying your problems before finding a mentor helps cut to the chase and lets your mentor know how to assist you. A career mentor will be much more eager to work with people who have already prepared an agenda. Some mentors have more expertise in solving just a particular career challenge. Some could be good at assisting mentees in starting a career journey and others focus on helping their clients who are already settled into their careers but facing challenges. Therefore, bearing your needs in mind will ensure you find a career mentor whose skill set matches your need.


  • Be Careful in Your Selection: Who should you choose as a mentor? Acquaintances who have shown considerable growth in their career, professional career coaches, or people working in the career industry. A career mentor should be someone you look up to. You can also seek out people who are working in your field of interest. You can find them on social media apps like LinkedIn and connect with them. Career mentors can also be found among family and friends, senior colleagues, employers, or people in the hiring field like recruiters. In fact, almost everyone in your professional network should be able to act as a mentor to you. It is the first place you should look before exploring other options. Make proper research too. If you connect with a mentor online, go through their page to see their qualifications and confirm that they are legit. However, you need to bear in mind that not every person you ask will accept to mentor you. When someone rejects your request, it could be that they have their plate full and do not have the time to mentor. Look for people who are ready to help you at the particular point in time you need assistance. Mentorship is a great responsibility that requires engagement from both parties.


  • Do the Asking: You need to be polite when you are making a request to become a mentee. If you sent your request virtually, maybe through an email, it is proper to schedule an in-person meeting when your mentor agrees to your request. Keep to time and show you are serious. When you meet your mentor, ensure you are prepared. A very helpful tip is to prepare a pitch that encompasses why you need their guidance, your goals, and what you want to achieve. The pitch will help you glide smoothly into a conversation with your mentor on your first meeting. In subsequent sessions, be sure to ask them questions about how they made favorable decisions that have helped them in their career and of course, the mistakes they have made. Your relationship with a mentor should be a two-way thing.


Final Thoughts

A mentor-mentee relationship is a serious one. It is one that involves time and commitment. Try your best to foster the relationship. Do your part and do not expect them to do all the work or pressure them to find you a job. Their job is to give you expert advice that will help you correct or avoid mistakes in your career. Whoever you choose as your mentor should be someone who believes in you, is ready and eager to see you grow and someone willing to invest everything possible to make sure you reach maximum growth and overcome all challenges in your career. Do everything you can to be a good mentee. Your aim should be to solve whatever problems you are facing in your career. Therefore, you need to be consistent and apply the counsel your mentor offers if you want your sessions with him or her to be fruitful. A mentor can be a guide that will take you by the hand and make your career journey smooth and prevent you from making decisions that could create long-term damage in your work life.

Career Tips, Job Search Tips

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