If you want to supercharge your career, you need to find the right person to help you, a mentor. Whether you’re eyeing a specific leadership role, hoping to advance your skills, or simply looking to broaden your professional network, you need to find someone who can help. In today’s competitive world a great mentor can help you to navigate the politics of your organisation, introduce you to the right people and really advance your career – rapidly.
Here are some tips to finding a great mentor and make the most of the help you receive.
- Find your mentor among the people you know who are perhaps 8-10 steps ahead of you in your field, role, or industry, doing what you want to, in the way you want to.
- The best place for finding a mentor will therefore be in the network of inspiring people you are already interacting and working with now. The best mentor will be someone to whom you have already demonstrated your potential – who know how you think and act, and what you can contribute as well as trust and believe in you.
- Be someone who is enjoyable to mentor. Ask yourself – are you somebody you yourself would like to mentor? Are you open, flexible, resilient, respectful? Are you eager to learn, and committed to learning, developing and changing? Nothing is more frustrating for a mentor than having someone continually seeking their advice and then ignoring it.
- Finally be someone who is already actively building their career. It may sound obvious but be great at what you do, it is the most important thing you can do to get noticed. Ask for more responsibility – be sure to have specific ideas for how you can contribute in deeper, more expansive ways. Be creative/think outside the box. Don’t be a wallflower – participate in all meetings even “optional” ones, and volunteer to represent your team on important department or enterprise-level initiatives. Also, promote the success of others – your generosity and openness are critical to your success, and will be remembered.