Life is hard. It’s hard, and it is even harder to slog through alone. Thankfully, there are tried and true methods that will help you find the mentor to propel your career forward and make you a better person for it.
Allow for organic interaction.
Just like a relationship with a potential partner, the bond between mentor and pupil must happen organically. Rushing is taboo. Do your best to set your expectations accordingly, to allow for that natural development that can only come with time.
Mentoring is different from friendship, stuck somewhere between that and employment. Don’t quit when you feel frustrated—there will be an element of uncertainty at times, and those are the moments to capitalize on because they will help you learn the most. If and when your mentor points something out to you, take note, and ask how you can do better in the future. This kind of advice is exactly what you came for, and checking out just because you don’t like what you hear defeats the entire purpose.
It’s more than okay to reach out to your mentor with provocation. You don’t always need a reason. After all, you’re developing a relationship, and while it is largely a professional relationship, a sense of camaraderie will help you feel more comfortable. Ask, but don’t demand. Your mentor might not always be available, but being proactive shows that you care.
A good mentor gives feedback in a constructive but effective manner. It might not always be pleasant to hear, because talking about our potential shortcomings is rarely easy, but it’s necessary. In turn, you need to assess this feedback and take the useful knowledge it in order to incorporate into your own life. Try to reframe the conversation as a challenge to yourself, and develop goals in order to achieve it.
This may seem like a repeat of prior points, but remaining committed to the mentoring cannot be stressed enough. With any luck, the relationship between mentor and student will lead to personal growth and self-realization, and those results don’t happen overnight. To really get the most out of your mentorship, continue to cultivate the relationship as you move further into your desired field
This part two of a two-part series. For part one, check out AlvinHopeJohnson.net.