Finding the Right Mentor

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Let’s say you are getting ready to set up your first tradeshow booth or you are trying to figure how to close more sales. Then you may want to find a mentor, because they will be able to guide you in the right direction. Here are a few ways mentors can help you achieve greater success

  • By sharing their experiences, knowledge and insights, and the lessons they learned. This will help you develop your skills at a quicker pace than even attending a course will. The reason mentoring is so effective is that you are receiving advice based on your needs at that moment.
  • By providing feedback. Let’s say you would like to enhance your cold calling skills, to ensure you have a higher success rate of securing appointments. You can role play this scenario with your mentor and receive their constructive feedback.
  • By providing you with encouragement, support and inspiration. A mentor can help you open your mind to new opportunities and ideas, and provide you with a boost of inspiration.

The first step to finding the right mentor is writing down what you would like to achieve, and then start to think about the type of mentor who can help you get to where you want to go. Ask yourself: Which skills do they have? Which industry do they have experience in? What do they do? Where do they live (if it’s important for you to meet them in-person)? Now, you are ready to start searching for a mentor—here are a few ideas on where to look:

  • Join discussion groups on social media sites and/or conduct a Google search. Contact someone who is providing valuable advice.
  • Check in with you company’s Human Resources department, the college/university that you graduated from and the associations you belong to because they may have a mentoring program established.
  • Identify mentors through your network. Think about your family members, friends and business contacts. If they aren’t the mentor you need, they will probably know someone they could recommend.
  • Visit MentorCity.com, a website for matching people with appropriate mentors.

When you contact potential mentors, remember that it is an honour to be asked by someone for advice and guidance, that everyone has a few minutes to spare, and that people generally like to support others. Take the mentoring relationship slow—if there is a good fit, you may want to establish a more formal mentoring relationship. Or, you can keep things informal and reach out to them on an as-needed basis

© 2014 by Shawn Mintz. Shawn Mintz, the Founder and President of MentorCity, an online mentoring program, has spent over a decade in the career and employment services sector. Realizing the importance of mentoring, Shawn has been driven to develop award winning mentoring solutions that have helped thousands of people to achieve greater success, personally and professionally. In recognition of his efforts, Shawn has received George Brown College’s Career and Work Counsellor Crystal Award for Innovation and been profiled in Canadian Newcomer Magazine as a Canadian who has demonstrated commitment to helping new Canadians succeed. He has also published an eBook called MentorCity: How a few minutes with the right person can change your life. For further information, please visit www.MentorCity.com

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