Once you narrow down what you need from a mentor, searching for one becomes a bit easier. Here are a few places to look:
- Within your network: Former managers, professors, or contacts you know through your friends and family are great places to start.
- Strangers: Perhaps no one in your immediate network quite fits what you’re looking for. There is no harm in considering a stranger to be your mentor and there are a few places to look:
- Search for potential mentors online using LinkedIn.
- Look through the members of associations related to your field or the field you’re interested.
- Check the alumni directory of your university for potential connections.
Also, it may seem intuitive that you’ll want a mentor from your professional field, but don’t discount the value of a mentor from a very different profession or background. Mentoring relationships can span many years, so your mentor might follow you through several job changes.
How to Manage a Mentoring Relationship
Below are some guidelines for setting up and running a successful mentoring arrangement:
- Set regular mentoring meetings
- Be honest and open
- Build sustainable improvements, not quick fixes
- Play by the rules