Plato needed Socrates. Oprah needed Maya Angelou. J.J. Abrams needed Spiel…well you get the point.
You could possess all the potential in the world. But without guidance, all this potential could go unrealized. And, mentors are crucial to realizing potential. Here’s why:
-Mentors Provide Constructive Feedback
As successful individuals, mentors have no problems sharing the principles of their success with you as a mentee. Plus, some will also encourage you to apply these principles and evaluate your work with honest feedback.
-Mentors Teach Industry Standards
As you kickstart your career, you normally won’t be familiar with industry standards. For instance, you could be devoting more working hours to a project than what is expected; overworking yourself in the process. A mentor would alert you to such situations.
-Mentors Mediate Invaluable Connections
By now, you have probably already figured out how important connections are to your career. If your mentor shares his/her network of connections with you, it could open up plenty of career opportunities for you.
Now, let’s talk about how to find mentors!
First off, you will need to do your homework. No mentor will design your career for you from scratch. Mentors want to see that you’re focused and willing to put in the work.
After that, it’s time to put yourself out there to potential mentors! Here’s where you could search:
Start connecting with experts of your industry! As you do, you will be exposed to the mindsets of many potential mentors. Approach some and ask them for mentorship.
2- Online Communities
No matter your career path, there’s an online community of people sharing your passion. Into the creative scene? Join SYNC Community. Aiming for research? Try Egypt Scholars Inc. Search and you will discover communities filled with expert opinions and potential mentors.
3- Events & Meetups
Whether physical or virtual, attending events is a golden ticket to finding mentors. Be on the lookout for events, such as RiseUp Summit and Engineerex Summit!
The best part? All these sources will overlap. A LinkedIn post will lead you to an event which will then lead you to an online community. And, the cycle will continue!
Before you start searching, let’s go over some final points!
– Don’t Go Looking for Your Dumbledore
Age doesn’t signify work experience. So, make sure you aren’t exclusively looking for the Dumbledore stereotype and be open to mentorship from people of all ages.
– Don’t Stop at One Mentor
To expect one mentor to give you all the guidance you need is wishful. Hence, it’s preferable to have more than one mentor.
– Don’t Underestimate Your Social Circle
It might surprise you, but a parent, a sibling, an aunt, or a friend with relevant work experience could be just the mentor you need.