This is a question that many, many young professionals and creatives alike struggle with. Having a mentor that has gone through similar struggles as you to get to where you want to be can be just the motivation you need.
I think this is something I am still looking for myself. But in my past experience, it is best to be very specific about what you would like help with. Really taking time and zeroing in on what you would like to learn, what questions you have, etc.
Then the next step is to reach out. It may take time to get any type of response, but once you do, be persistent and if the opportunity arises, do not waste the person’s time. Also, it is important to remember that all relationships take time to build, so patience is a must!
Locating mentors can be a very difficult task for even the most outgoing and personable individuals, but it is necessary whether you are attempting to climb the ranks in corporate America or build your own business.
I have found that it is important to (at least somewhat) understand your own goals and aspirations first, and then seek a mentor. It is difficult for the mentor to connect with someone that may not be in the same field or have similar career paths, not to say the mentor would have had to be on exactly the same path as the mentee, but it helps to be close.
Attending networking events sponsored by different groups, including colleges and universities, professional organizations and your own workplace will allow you to meet with others that you may be able to connect with. Also, don’t overlook the obvious mentors around you, friends, family, professors, student advisers, the list goes on.
When you meet a potential mentor, just be yourself! Be ready with a headline (Your name, educational and/or career background, where you are from and what your main goal is) to break the ice. From there build a relationship with that person by connecting on LinkedIn or emailing them occasionally, and not only if you need a favor! Ask that individual where they started their career or what hurdles they may have faced, the more information the better!
And don’t think that you have to stop at just one mentor, the more you build your network the more likely you are to meet many professionals who are (and are not) mentor material. So always be on the lookout!
What are your tips for finding a good mentor?