Working with a mentor can be a great way to grow personally and professionally. Not only does a mentor help you on your career path, but the solid bond you build with your mentor could lead to new opportunities down the line. If you haven’t found a mentor that works for you, or if you haven’t ever worked with a mentor in the past, the time to change that is now! I’m sharing 5 ideas to help you find a mentor at work.
Ideas to Find a Mentor at Work
#1 Ask around about mentoring programs through your employer
You may not even know the mentoring programs available to you through your employer. A lot of larger companies offer different types of mentoring programs for their employees to take advantage of. This could be a great option for seeking a mentor with the qualities you want.
I would suggest starting with HR, your benefits department or your manager. Ask if there are any programs that link mentors with potential mentees. That may be the quickest (and easiest) way to get paired with a mentor.
#2 Schedule time with a person you can grow and learn from
If there are no mentoring programs available to you, or you already have an idea of who your ideal mentor would be, it’s time to seek them out! Look for someone who is doing what you want to be doing, or brings skills to the table that you are struggling with.
Once you’ve identified that candidate, send them an introductory email. Let them know that you would love to learn from them, and if they have the time would they mind if you scheduled time on their calendar for a quick call. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. However, you’ve built the connection and they may have time in the future. They may also be able to refer you to someone else.
#3 Ask your manager if they have any recommendations
When you’re not sure where to start with seeking a mentor, and you have no ideas in mind of who you’d like to work with, talk to your manager. Let them know that you are actively seeking a mentor and ask what they would recommend you do to find one. Now that they know you are looking for a mentor, they can put feelers out on your behalf.
#4 Keep your eyes and ears open
Just because there are no mentoring programs or current candidates doesn’t mean you can’t keep a look out! Don’t give up on finding a mentor because the road gets a little tough. Keep your eyes and ears open as you do your day to day work. Are there any people you would like to learn from? Are there any people have larger networks that you can reach out to?
You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so always keep your eyes and ears open for potential opportunities to find a mentor, or at minimum, grow your own network.
#5 If all else fails, look in your local community
When it comes to finding a mentor, you aren’t limited to your day job. While finding a mentor at your place of work is preferred, it’s not required. If you just can’t seem to find the mentorship you’re looking for at work, look in your local community. There could be professional organizations for you to join, local business and career centers, and mentors in your area that can help.
Don’t be afraid to get out there and find a mentor! It can be nerve-wracking to reach out and network with new people, but it can lead to so many more opportunities for growth. Make it a point to attend mixers and networking events, just to get your feet wet. As you get more acquainted with networking, start asking around for mentor referrals. You may be surprised at what you find!
Related: 6 Ways to Advance Your Career
Finding a mentor is not always easy, especially one that really helps you learn and grow, but it can be invaluable to your career growth! Have you worked with a mentor in the past? How did you find them? Share your experiences with finding and working with a mentor in the comments section below!