A mentor is someone who takes a special interest in you, who believes in you, who likes you as a person, who enjoys spending time with you, who enjoys helping you grow (both personally and professionally), who is loyal, and who will extend him- or herself to help you succeed. A mentor can play a significant role in your ongoing development. If you are fortunate you will have several mentors over the course of your career.
So, how do you find a mentor? We wish we had an easy answer, or frankly, any answer that would work consistently. The process of finding a mentor is no different from finding a close friend or a life partner. It involves some luck, but there are things you can do to improve the likelihood of success:
- Know Yourself It is much easier to find something if you know what you are looking for. Begin by knowing who you are, what you want to achieve and how you define success. Then you can think about what you want to get out of a mentoring relationship and what kind of person your ideal mentor would be.
- Look at Your Current Relationships Think about how you formed relationships with other important people in your life. How did you meet your close friends? Your significant other? What were you doing at the time? What were your initial attractions? Why did you both decide you wanted to spend more time with each other? Answering those questions might well provide some valuable insight about how to meet a mentor.
- Create Opportunities Participate ...