Building a career is never an easy thing to do.
Whether you are an entrepreneur about to start something on your own, or you are employed in an organization and hoping to go up the ranks over the years, the journey to career fulfillment is a tough one. One of the ways to make it easier is by having a mentor.
A mentor is someone you look up to for encouragement and valuable advice at pivotal times in your career. This person should be successful in the field you are about to go into or the field you are already into, and also your mentor should be inspirational.
A lot of people regularly get in to a fix when it comes to choosing a mentor. This is because choosing a mentor is a very important decision; your choice of a mentor can either improve your life greatly or just break your spirit (if the wrong person is chosen). So how do you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a mentor? Here are the top 5 steps to help you choose the best mentor:
- Have your set goals/values
This is the first step in choosing the best mentor. You must know where you are going or where you want to be before choosing your mentor. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a job seeker, you must have a destination, a set of goals you plan to achieve. Also, you must know your values, what you stand for and the things you believe in. You can’t believe in working 24/7 and have a mentor that believes in spending more time on holiday and less time working.
“The more you know yourself, what you are good at, what you are not, the more value you and your mentors will get out of the relationship. – Andrew Rubin, co-founder & CEO of Illumio.
- Know the Person
Before choosing anybody as your mentor, ask yourself these few questions;
- Does the person have similar values with you?
- How is this person’s personality? Do you think he/she would be willing to share career secrets?
- How reachable is this person to you? Communication is very important in a mentor to mentee relationship.
- Is this person an achiever? Can he/she challenge you to do better?
- Can this person be honest with me?
- Be ready to give back
Contrary to what many people believe, your mentor is actually supposed to get value from you too. Prepare your mind that mentorship is a two-way street. I’m not saying that your mentor is also supposed to always ask you for advice but just be ready in case he/she needs it. Who knows, you may help him/her solve problems with new ways that this person hadn’t learnt of.
“The most successful mentorships are the ones that are a two-way experience where both sides benefit from the relationship. – Brett Caine, CEO of Urban Airship
You can also give back to your mentor by showing that you have been groomed enough to be his/her successor. It doesn’t always happen but just be prepared to give back to your mentor when he or she needs it.
Follow these steps the next time you want to choose a mentor and thank me later!
Good luck! 😉