How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor

Mentorship is one of those things you won’t even know you need until you have one. And once you have one, you definitely want to hold them close. But finding and keeping the elusive mentor can be challenging. Use this five-step plan to help plan your next #careergoals and land an amazing mentor.

Attend networking events

Attending networking events in the industry you’re trying to break into (or build up your knowledge of) is not only helpful, but necessary. Brush up on your networking skills and go to your next event with confidence, persistence and business cards. It’s helpful to have an idea of who you are trying to reach so you can do your homework beforehand and know what their career path looked like; some personal info as a conversation starter also never hurt.

Utilize social channels

Social media is no longer just a tool for millennials. Senior executives have been on these channels for years”and they’re good at using them. Target a few people from your industry you admire and find them on social media, whether it’s the standard LinkedIn, or a more personal platform like Instagram. By following them, you’ll be better armed for running into them in a public place to have something to talk about.

Be personal

If you’ve managed to get their email, congrats! Personalizing your note to your soon-to-be mentor could be the determining factor between securing them as a career camaraderie or having yet another standard email exchange with someone doing great things. Find a creative way to enhance the note, whether it’s congratulating them on a new article they were featured in or showing them an article you think is great.

Don’t just takeoffer your own skills in return

It may sound harsh, but why would your mentor want to sacrifice their time to help you if you’re not bringing anything to the table? Unless it’s a relative or an old friend, there has to be something in it for them (outside of their own good will). Whether your skill is social media support or offering great travel tips, you definitely have something you can help them with. Always make sure to ask.

Always stay in touch

And finally, once you’ve secured your mentor, don’t let them go! While it can be easy to let them drift off after you’ve landed your dream job or are in what you consider a great career trajectory, you never know when they can help you. And keeping in touch doesn’t need to involve lengthy emails or coffee dates. If you’ve chosen your menor as your mentor, chances are you have something in common. If you see something that may interest them”whether it’s an article you’ve read or something that relates to their industry”send a quick note to show them. Just remember, keep it short.

Happy mentoring!

Tags: career, career-goals, how to find a mentor, mentor

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