MATCHMAKING FOR SUCCESS – Finding the PERFECT mentor.
With so many Mentors available through MentorSelector, we want you to find the perfect person. Like garlic breath on a first date, the wrong mentor just won’t work! Instead, you need a mentor suited to your goals and personality. We have the secret recipe for success.
TIP 1: HAVE A VISION
What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to go? Why? These questions are the first step in finding your perfect mentor. In order to identify the right mentor, you need to know yourself.
We recently spoke with a mentee who had grand plans of where they wanted to go in the finance industry – but when asked why, they didn’t know the answer. In the end, this person spent a lot of time realigning their career and life goals. Before you go hunting for the perfect mentor to help you achieve your goals, try to be clear about what you actually want. Be honest with yourself – set aside other people’s expectations and take the time to really question why you want what you want.
Sure, a mentor can help you work through these issues, but if you do the thinking yourself, your mentor can help you achieve your goals faster!
TIP 2: Think about your stage of life and career
It’s unlikely that a first-time business owner with a young family is going to need the same mentor as a CEO (and yes, even major corporation CEOs have mentors). You need to assess who would have the experience to be in the best position to help you.
For instance, we were approached by a university student who was looking for a mentor in engineering to help prepare him for a graduate position. He wanted a mentor who was a veteran in the industry and a CEO of a firm. Whilst it is always helpful to have a mentor with many years of experience, often we should focus on a mentor who can help you based on what you currently need. In this situation, we suggested a mentor who had been a university graduate themselves in the past few years and was probably better suited to addressing the needs of the mentee. They would have more pertinent advice about how to write the CV, know the tips and secrets of conducting a great job interview at that level, where to look and how to find a potential job, and which electives and majors to study to help open doors.
Don’t forget, you can have two mentors! One to help you with the here and now plus one to help guide you for the long term direction of your career.
You need to ask the following questions:
- Do you need support for specific challenges you are facing now?
- Are you looking to develop your strengths, skills and experience for the next five years?
- Are you trying to take your career or leadership to the next level?
TIP 3: ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Asking good questions is key. Ask the wrong question to the right person and you still won’t get the right answer. In deciding on a mentor, good questions are the bread and butter of this process. Try these:
- Does your mentor have the experience and skillset to provide guidance on how to tackle your existing problem or achieve your goal?
- Can your mentor help position you for the next career step? Do they have the experience and maybe even offer a network to open doors for you?
- What is your mentor’s career experience? Have they broadly done what you are trying to do?
Unless your mentor is SuperMan (if Clark Kent is looking for a job, we’re hiring!) they won’t necessarily have all the answers. Be patient and give your mentor time to answer these questions the best they can.
And don’t forget, you’re not looking for the perfect person to be perfect mentor. In fact, mentors who have had significant struggles are often the best mentors. We once had a mentee tell us they learnt more from a mentor who had multiple businesses that failed, than a mentor who had an extremely successful business.
TIP 4: DON’T SEEK A CLONE
Don’t seek a clone of yourself. Talking to yourself is not very useful. We’re sure you’re great but we don’t want to find you a twin! We want to find you a mentor who compliments you. This often means having a different perspective and differing experiences. There’s no point in a mentor who just reinforces what you already know.
MentorSelector – Your Tool to Find the Right Mentor
Now that you know our top mentor-finding tips, we want to show you how to find them!
MentorSelector is a database of mentors willing to help you. There are hundreds of mentors from diverse backgrounds, in diverse industries across the globe. It’s an amazing resource so take the time and use it to find the right mentor for you.
Using the right search criteria can be make or break in the mentor finding process. Search in the right way and find the right person – simple!
1) INDUSTRY & SKILLSET
Industry and skillset are the two most important search criteria a mentee should utilise. Be sure to select the industry experience and skillset you would like your mentor to have. This is the best way to match your goals with a mentor.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, consider searching mentors in your area.
But don’t feel you must limit yourself; if you find the perfect mentor on the other side of the world, don’t panic as many of our mentor/mentee connections are global with the mentorship conducted online via our teleconference portal. For instance, we have someone in Egypt mentoring a mentee in Hong Kong – with positive feedback from all parties.
The MentorSelector platform allows mentors to display the link to their LinkedIn profile. This is a great tool for both mentors and mentees.
Wondering what to look for on a LinkedIn profile when hunting for the perfect mentor? Wonder no more!
Connections – A good indication of a mentor’s influence and network is the number of connections they have.
Mutual Connections – It is helpful to see if your potential mentor has any mutual connections. Mutual connections may give you an insight into the networks of your potential mentor.
Endorsements – Endorsements are a great way of seeing how well regarded a mentor is in their industry as well as understanding their recognised skill set. But not all LinkedIn members actively seek endorsements, so bear this in mind.
Groups – Participation in LinkedIn groups is another demonstration of how active a mentor is in their industry or market segment.
Please note – LinkedIn isn’t a definitive guide on who your mentor is but it is a helpful tool. LinkedIn is also not as widely used in certain industries as others.
RESEARCH = CONFIDENCE
Do some research on your potential mentor – this helps you gain a good understanding before beginning mentorship. A simple Google search might yield journals, articles, books or a thesis written by your mentor. Other databases may also be helpful – for instance, some of our mentors in the film industry list their accomplishments on Wikipedia and IMDB.
Finding the right mentor takes time and guidance – that’s why we’re here. We want you to find that perfect person. If you have questions for your mentor or if you wish to verify their credentials – get in touch with us, and we can reach out to your potential mentor on your behalf. Send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We advise mentees to ask questions and seek clarification via MentorSelector. Some mentees have approached mentors directly – but we advise against this as often the mentor prefers to connect via MentorSelector until they get to know their mentee better. First impressions last, it is important to respect your mentor’s boundaries. This is the foundation of a strong, trusting, long term relationship.