How To Find A Career Mentor

A professional mentor can provide guidance and wisdom that significantly benefits your career. This person does not need to be in the same field! You only want someone with experience in the professional world to coach you in your career path. But how do you know who is going to be the right mentor for you? Today we’re sharing how to find a career mentor from where to look to who you should choose.

Where to look 

There are a multitude of places to look for career mentors. This includes older alumni from your alma mater(s), neighbors, other members of your church, or other community organizations. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to help someone out and share knowledge from their professional experiences. In general, it is best to avoid asking someone you work with to be your mentor. Mentorship from current coworkers can muddy the waters, so look outside your current organization!

How to look

The internet provides plenty of resources for finding a mentor. The most effective social media site to discover a mentor is LinkedIn. Search for people in your area with experience in similar fields to what you are pursuing. Using university pages, you can search by degree and find other people on LinkedIn that graduated in the same area of study. Check with your alumni resources at your previous places of education, whether high school, college, trade school, or grad school.

Most importantly, speak with people you know and with whom you are already connected. Did you have a professor you respected in college? Did a friend’s family member always seem to make wise career choices? Reach out to these people and ask for a mentor-mentee relationship!

Who to choose

How do you know that you are choosing the right mentor? It is essential to choose someone who can help you specifically in your career path. If part of your identity is underrepresented in your field, find someone who is also a part of your demographic in that field (i.e., Women in STEM). They can speak to that specific experience and guide you in ways to stand out from the typical person in that field. A mentor-mentee relationship does not (by any means!) have to be lifelong. Sometimes it only lasts a few months. It is ok to work with someone and realize it’s not a great fit. Find someone you are comfortable with who can maintain a professional relationship with you while guiding you in our goals.

If you’re ready to contact someone, check out this NPR article about how to seek someone out, ask them to mentor you, and keep it professional.

How to Be A More Coachable Employee

Becoming a more coachable employee is a hot topic right now. Many employees are looking for ways to ensure they are coachable to improve the value they can add to their company and reach their professional goals. With the end of the year approaching quickly, now is an excellent time to position yourself for career success in 2021. So, here is what you can do to be a more coachable employee.

What is coachability

To become a more coachable employee, you first need to understand what coachability is. Coachability is essentially being someone that is “Receptive to feedback, to receiving constructive criticism, and will use that feedback and constructive criticism to improve her or his workplace performance.”

Employees that are not coachable often deflect, fail to accept responsibility, make excuses, and, ultimately, have a bad attitude. Thus, being coachable is all about your attitude and being open-minded.

Have an open mind

If you genuinely want to become coachable, you must keep an open mind. And to do that, you must agree to be coachable. A manager or someone else you work with cannot just force you into it – you must want to be coached. That means you and your mentor or manager have to agree on what and how you will be taught. If you are forced into a coaching situation, you will likely disregard whatever they are trying to teach you. It has to be sincere from both parties if you want to be a more coachable employee.

Step outside your comfort zone

To be coachable is to be willing to be uncomfortable at times. If you really want to pursue a goal or learn something new, you must be ready to step outside your comfort zone. Learning something new isn’t supposed to be easy or comfortable, and you must be willing to push yourself to become more coachable.

Actor Dan Stevens sums this up really well: “The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.”

Therefore, if you are serious about being a more coachable employee and growing as a professional, you must be willing to leave that bubble of comfort and strive for greatness.

Need more career advice?

So, if you are looking for more career advice, check out our blog for more candidate resources!