Published on June 6, 2017
Updated on Nov. 15, 2021
Having a mentor is an exciting part of your professional journey. A mentor is someone who is typically older than you, and is working in your desired career path. Mentors are a source of career advice, job opportunities and guidance. They are a role model and a source of candid feedback. They are someone you get along with and they want what’s best for you. So how do you go about finding someone like this?
Mentorships aren’t always made in a professional setting
There are a variety of places you can meet your mentor. Mentors can often be former professors or supervisors from previous jobs or internships. They can also be a former student or friend who is involved in an organization you want to be a part of, or excelling in a career path you want to take on. That being said, there are plenty of ways you can meet your mentor, without it having to be through an official mentorship program. Sometimes the most beneficial mentorships come from the relationships that aren’t labeled as such. So how do you know if your mentor is right for you?
A mentor is someone you can trust
Mentors will give you the advice you need, when you need it. They know exactly what to say because they’ve been in your shoes and they understand what you’re going through. As with any relationship, mentorships require a degree of vulnerability. You should feel comfortable opening up about your fears and weaknesses with your mentor, and they should be supportive. A mentor will help you realize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. They are someone you can count on.
And last but not least ….
Mentors are someone you can have fun with!
Mentorships aren’t all serious chats over coffee or lunch. You can have fun with your mentor too! This is how you really get to know each and to help your mentor understand how you can apply yourself to the professional world. Have a hobby? Share it with your mentor! Allow your mentor to get to know you a little better. Suggest attending an event together, that relates to your career field. It’ll be a learning experience for both of you!