Looking For a Professional Mentor? Make Sure You're an Appealing Mentee.
Networking and mentorship are important tools for building your career. Each requires its own unique brand of initiative. To find a mentor, you first need to demonstrate that you'd be a good mentee.
To succeed in most careers, one needs both to master networking and align oneself with mentors and confidants. While achieving the former has been discussed time and time again in this space, not enough attention is paid to the importance of mentoring. Climbing social ladders requires taking the hands of magnanimous folks above you and receiving a helpful lift. But how do you convince potential mentors to take time out of their lives to help you out?
Kathy Caprino at Forbes has a few ideas:
"First, it’s critical to know that, to find great mentors, you don’t want to reach out to strangers. That’s not how you’ll find them."
While it seems like common sense to not waste time penning letters to Bill and Melinda Gates, many aspiring mentees don't realize that finding a mentor mostly means attracting a mentor. This is not something you get through cold calling. Caprino quotes Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:
“If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious. The question becomes a statement. Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works.”
In order to attract mentors, you need to inspire successful people you already know. Demonstrate your worth and ambition. Show them you're someone in whom they should invest time and effort.
If you're not already on those folks' radar, Caprino offers a few suggestions to fix that:
"Give, and give more. Tweet out their posts, comment in a positive way on their blogs, share their updates, start a discussion on LinkedIn drawing on their post, refer new clients or business to them, and the list goes on."
You definitely don't want to come across as sycophantic, but you do need to butter them up a little bit. Again, your prospective mentor likely has plenty of candidates for his or her time. Find what appeals to them -- hard work, stroking the ego, etc. -- and employ strategies to get their attention.
Finally (and to echo some points from earlier), Caprino says that to obtain mentorship you have to demonstrate your reliability as a potential mentee. This means you should strive to be a good citizen within your office and industry. Hone your expertise and establish a reputation for success and professionalism. No one's going to want to mentor a lost little puppy dog or a fixer-upper. No one's going to treat you like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. Instead, you have to lay the necessary roots for a mentor relationship before you can take the step big step.
Read more at Forbes
Photo credit: Warren Goldswain / Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.