Mentors are an invaluable resource for any professionals starting out in their field. Offering unbiased feedback, giving a unique perspective, and helping advance your career are just a few of the many benefits of having a mentor.
But the process of finding a mentor can seem like a challenge. How do you begin to go about finding a mentor? How do you know if they are the right fit for you? These are just some of the many questions you should ask yourself when searching for a mentor. It’s crucial to find a mentor that is a good fit for both your career goals and personality, as a mentor is an investment that will hugely pay off in the long run.
Interested in finding a mentor? Below, we detail the benefits of having a mentor and tips to find the perfect mentor.
Benefits of a Mentor
Mentors can help you develop time management skills, adjust to a full-time job, and even help you structure a thesis or dissertation—but these are just a few of the many benefits a mentor will have for your career. Here are some of the biggest benefits of having a professional mentor.
- Unbiased feedback: A good mentor will be able to give you unbiased feedback—whether it’s good or bad. It can be tough to hear feedback that isn’t positive, but a good mentor is able to make it a learning experience so you can succeed in the future.
- Boost your confidence: Having a mentor can make you feel more confident when entering the workforce. Your mentor is on your side and can support you when first-day-of-work jitters are making you anxious or stressed. Your mentor has been through it before and can provide insight on what to expect when starting at a new workplace.
- Give you a new perspective: Your mentor likely has several years of experience under their belt and therefore has the type of unique insight that only time could give. Your mentor can help you take a step back from the situation and look at it from a different perspective.
- Help advance your career: One of the biggest benefits of having a mentor is how much of an impact they can have on advancing your career. Whether they have connections in the industry or can write you a stellar letter of recommendation, a mentor is an invaluable resource for any business professional to have.
Tips to Find the Perfect Mentor
It’s clear that there are countless benefits of having a professional mentor. If you’re looking for a mentor, here are some top tips to make the process as easy as possible for you.
- Be proactive: To meet potential mentors, you have to take the first step. Whether you’re staying after class to introduce yourself or joining a professional association to increase your network, being proactive is crucial to make sure you have found the right mentor for you.
- Make sure your goals are clear: Figure out what you want to achieve with your mentor-mentee relationship. Are you looking for career advice? Do you want more of a support system or a professional advisor? Understanding what exactly you hope to gain from your mentor is a key step to finding a mentor that is a good match for you.
- Meet with them consistently: Set up recurring meetings with your mentor to ensure you are staying in touch. Send your mentor an agenda before each meeting and be sure to thank them afterward to ensure you maintain a strong relationship with them.
- Ask for feedback: Asking for feedback can be nervewracking, but one of the biggest benefits of having a mentor is their ability to be unbiased with their feedback. To find the perfect mentor, you need someone who is a good match in terms of how they give feedback. Do you respond better to positive reinforcement or are you unphased when people are critical of your work? Finding a mentor who is on the same page in terms of how to give and receive feedback will pay off in the long run.
A mentor is an invaluable resource for any working professional. Whether you are getting your graduate degree in nursing or have recently started your first nine-to-five, finding a mentor now is an important factor in your long-term success.
Looking to find a mentor? Take a look at this infographic from the University of St. Augustine for some top tips on finding the perfect mentor.