Mentorship has been a key buzzword in recent business articles: Mentorship is the Key to Success, Mentors Can Show the Way at Work, and Four Reasons Mentorship Matters. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to finding a mentor is figuring out where to start. Based on our experience at InstaViser and working with our customers, we’ve put together a list of the three places where you can begin your search for your next mentor, both offline and online.
THE WORK MENTOR
The most common way to meet your mentor is at work since you spend 40 hours a week at work, surrounded by coworkers, it makes sense to pick someone who sees you in your day to day environment. Whether it’s your direct manager, HR representative, or the boss of the company, you want to find someone at work who is interested in your personal growth and development.
Studies have shown that mentorship increases employee retention and overall happiness at work so if your company doesn’t have an existing program you might have to put yourself out there to find your support. Look to coworkers for suggestions on people you should talk to if you’re feeling like you lack a workplace mentor, as you might just find the sounding board you need in a different department.
This applies the most to current students and young graduates or even alumni who are looking to make a career change. Most universities have an alumni network with contact information for alumni around the world. The easiest way to strike up a conversation with a stranger is if you have something in common, and as alumni, you automatically have your shared educational experience to pull from. Nothing breaks the ice like reminiscing about a favorite food from your college town or campus or lamenting over your school’s poor football record this season.
Some schools have built-in mentorship networks for alumni and students but if not, explore your school’s alumni database to see if you can connect with old friends or new business contacts. Whenever you’re making a transition to a new city or industry, alumni are reliable sources of information and usually happy to help a fellow alum.
Outside of work and your university network, look no further than industry events and meet-ups. Cities around the world host mixers and networking events for different industries like advertising, medicine, education, or fashion. These general events cast a larger net, allowing you to meet new people in your industry or catch up with old contacts you met at a previous event.
One tip is to go into the event with a goal in mind. This will help motivate you to approach new faces and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Your goal could be to listen to the keynote speaker or get three new people’s business cards or connect with one person that you can meet up for a cup of coffee. Setting a goal helps you walk away from the event with new knowledge and contacts and maybe a potential mentor.
We understand it’s hard to find a mentor when you need one and that’s why we’re bringing industry-leading companies and institutions the tools to enhance their own mentoring programs. With face-to-face interactions at your fingertips, participants make real connections with mentors in their community via video sessions, making it easy to accommodate both people’s busy schedules. We believe in changing lives, one connection at a time.