Finding the right mentor can help you reach your goals
Having a mentor at work can benefit you in more ways than one. By getting yourself a competent mentor, there will always be someone who will teach, guide, promote and cheer you on. You will get all the help that you need to make sure you make the right decisions, receive honest feedback on your performance at work, provide you with the proper exposure, and help you develop your leadership abilities. By working with a mentor, you can get valuable advice on how you can best navigate your career toward the right path.
According to a recent study, people who have a mentor are more likely to ask for a raise as compared to those who don't have one. In addition, those who have a mentor are more likely to stay on the job longer. While finding the right mentor is not an easy task, the following suggestions may help you win the right person over to your side.
Know what you need. Start your search by asking yourself what you need. Do you need someone who can help you deal with a particular challenge such as how to dress for success or how to ask for a raise? Do you need someone who can be your sounding board or do you need an advocate for your project?
Start looking for a mentor. Does your company offer a mentoring program? If it does, then good for you! You can start working with a mentor without going out of your way to find one. In case it doesn't, you can always consider tapping into industry and/or non-profit associations.
You can also use LinkedIn's Advanced People Search feature to look for possible mentors from your beloved alma mater. And don't forget to consider looking for mentors within your immediate social circle. Who knows? Your ideal mentor may literally be just around the corner.
Practice self-promotion. Keep in mind that you need to promote yourself to get your ideal mentor's attention. Give them a reason why they need to back you up by showing them that you have the makings of a true winner.
Don't make the mistake of making a formal request. Asking someone to teach you the ropes can be daunting for both parties so don't do it initially. Start the ball rolling by asking for advice on one particular problem and go from there. Make it sound more like fun rather than work. Remember, most sponsors and mentors do it for the sheer satisfaction of paying it forward.
Needless to say, working with the right mentor can help you get to where you want to be.