5 tips for finding a career mentor
Want to start searching for your career soulmate? It doesn't have to be as hard as you expect. While this process can be daunting, ensuring that you take a targeted approach is the answer. Let's take a look at five handy tips you can use.
Reach out to your existing network
First things first, it's time to delve into your existing network. Do you already know someone who fits the bill? Chances are, that you will find it easier to reach out to someone who you've already met than a complete stranger.
You might want to go through your email contacts or LinkedIn connections to see if there's anyone there that could be useful. For example, you might find that an old manager or even a lecturer has the experience and knowledge you've been looking for.
Should you stumble across someone in your (figurative) little black book, it's time to make the first move. That could be a simple email or, if you're feeling extremely brave, a phone call. You don't want to come on too strong from the offset.
Rather than popping the big question—'do you want to be my mentor'—keep things lighter. You should reach out and say that you're looking for someone with expert industry knowledge for some advice and guidance. Take things slow to start out.
Start with a list of candidates
If you've got no one specific in mind, you need a hit list. Start by writing out a list of potential candidates that tick all of your boxes. You can start by looking through LinkedIn and finding professionals who are already working in your chosen sector. The key here is to be specific in what you're looking for.
For instance, if you are entering the world of marketing, don't merely look for high-up professionals in this field. Marketing is a hugely diverse industry. Instead, pick a niche and try to identify professionals that have the expertise you're looking for. You may want to reach out to solely marketing executives working in the digital sector.
Alternatively, you may want to take a deep dive into the staff pages of your favourite companies. If there's a big name business that you admire, start snooping on its websites. Many leading companies list their staff (and their contact details!) on their sites, which means that reaching out to the professional of your choice could not be easier. Take the time to figure out who your 'must have' candidates are and add them to the list. The longer this list happens to be, the more choices you will have.