How do I find a mentor to help me in my career?
What is a mentor?
A mentor is an advising role and can provide insights and feedback from their own experience to help you in your career. They can help to build your confidence, provide a safe space and be a trusted person to go to as a sounding board. They can be a good a person to help with objective guidance and be that shoulder to go to when you really need it. This is particularly relevant perhaps in those situations where you don’t want to speak to your manager about a sensitive topic. Mentors are a giving relationship and a mentor typically expects very little in return from you.
In many cases, women who work in organisations without formal mentoring programs have less access to mentors and enjoy fewer benefits from the relationship when they do have one, as reported by non-profit organisation Catalyst in Making Mentoring Work, and this is a frequent barrier to advancement. If you are working in a business that does have a formal program, get engaged in it and make the most of the opportunities it can provide. If not, don’t worry.
The strategies below will provide a solid foundation and tips to guide you in what to look for, how to find the right mentor and how to make that mentoring relationship work.
What should you look for in a mentor?
In seeking a mentor, what are the things that you want to be looking for?
How do you find a mentor?
Few women have a mentor, which we hear again and again from women inside the Women Rising program. We see the impact that having a mentor has on women’s careers as the women progress through the program and seek out this guidance in their career. It’s worth investing your time and energy to build these supportive relationships.
When it comes to finding a mentor here are some tips:
How do you make mentoring work?
Here are some tips for making a mentoring relationship work:
A final word on mentoring – please remember that external mentoring does not ever replace your inner wisdom. We can seek advice and guidance and learn from other people’s experiences, and that is invaluable. But that does not replace what you know to be true for yourself. Take in external guidance and then give yourself some time to reflect on it, take what you need and leave the rest, and then move forward from a place of your own inner wisdom and knowledge.
It’s incredibly important that you always remember we are not seeking validation from a mentoring relationship. It is one input that we then put into the melting pot and come out and lead with our own inner guidance.
You don’t have to do this alone. If you want to go deeper and get support with this, come and join us for the Women Rising program
. Women call it life-changing. Come and see why.