One of the reasons why I’ve been able to achieve success is because I have had mentors along the way. While many people believe in the value of having someone to help guides us, not enough of us seek help or assistance.
Similar to how we go to university or college to learn, we must do the same outside of a formal setting like post-secondary. I can genuinely say that I have learned more from my mentors and peer groups than in university.
As the title suggests, I’m going to give you some tips on how to ask anyone to be your mentor.
How to select your mentor:
There are many people you can ask to be your mentor whether they are someone you are already connected with or someone you have never met.
- Start by creating a list of things you are looking for in your mentor (ie. expertise in your desired career).
- Turn to your “virtual address book” (ie. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc) and start putting together list of potential mentors.
- Prior to approaching your desired mentor, create a list of things you would require from them and what you can offer them in return
- Put together an email or phone pitch (hint: make it short and direct)
What can you offer a mentor?
When I ask people why they don’t have a mentor I typically hear, “I don’t know how to” or “I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Let me start off by saying that if you approach the right people who genuinely want to help others you won’t be bothering anyone. You also need to understand what you can offer them in return. Here are a few things I believe the millennial demographic can offer a mentor that may be of an older demographic:
- Understanding what Millennials like and are attracted to
- What Millennials adverse to
- How can Millennials help them think differently
Prior to approaching your mentor, ensure that you have these outlined.<
How to properly operate a mentor and student relationship:
As the student, you need to lead the relationship in terms of logistics. When outlining what you would require from your mentor, explain the desired schedule. For example, for the two people I mentor we have a scheduled call or lunch every two weeks for one hour on a set day and time.
Prior to us meeting, the people I mentor send me a list of DI’s (discussion items) that they want to discuss. This allows me to better prepare for our time together and bring them as much value as possible.
I have found that most people believe that mentors are reserved for younger professionals seeking help from an older demographic. I believe that this is actually the wrong perspective in having a valued relationship. In fact, someone I mentor is double my age and we both value from our relationship.
It’s worth saying again, one of the top 3 reasons why I have been able to achieve success is because I have learned from others that have come before me which has saved me time and money.
What is stopping you from finding your mentor?