You cannot know everything there is to know about how to get where you want to be in life. While it’s possible to learn the needed skills, this will take time. Instead, what if you had someone (or a group of people) who can help guide you to success?
A mentor is someone who currently is where you want to be. The relationship you have with a mentor can be an official one, or it can be informal such as following in the footsteps of someone you admire. Mentors have experience and have gone through the growing pains towards success. They will know what kinds of training you may need or skills to develop.
More importantly, mentors can give you needed feedback on what you are doing right and wrong during your development. This kind of advice is invaluable. Remember to be respectful of your mentors time, and the commitment they are giving by turning up to meetings on time or giving due notice if you need to cancel and agreed appointment.
How do you go about finding a mentor? Once you have made the decision to move forward in a new career, your next decision is to find someone who can guide you forward. This person may be someone you know or someone who has been referred to you by a fellow work colleague or through friends or family.
If none of these seem like viable options, use professional networking websites such as Linkedin or if your career has a professional body you can approach them to ask if there are members who would be interested in offering you support
The mentors you choose should have the experience or skills you desire to learn. Be sure to ask lots of questions about what they expect from you and ask what you can expect from them. This expectation is important. Otherwise, you won’t have any means of knowing whether the mentoring relationship is working.
Should you pay for mentors? It depends on what you currently have available at your disposal and what you intend to receive from this kind of arrangement. If, as previously mentioned, there is someone who can act in a mentor capacity and they are willing to do this for free, then consider doing it. On the other hand, paying for someone to help you lets you hold them accountable. This is a crucial aspect of mentoring.
Once you have a mentor, its important to agree a on a clear, process for how the working relation will proceed. Some of the factors for consideration will include, the duration of the mentoring arrangement, how often you will meet and what you want to get out of the mento