What’s the Right Way to Find a Mentor?

Discover the key to finding a mentor and leveraging their wisdom for professional success. Learn how to ask, nurture, and maintain the relationship to make the most of this life-changing opportunity.

Founder of Thriving Elements, a nonprofit mentoring program, and a global technology consultant, Janet T. Phan, shares the story of finding the way to her mentors and points out three ways to begin your process: Ask, Nurture, and Maintain. 

  • Ask for the first meeting. A coffee or call is a low commitment for your target mentor and will give you an opportunity to better understand them and see if they’re the right fit for you.

  • Nurture the relationship. Don’t just focus the discussion on work. Take the time to really connect with the other person. After your meeting, send a thank-you note to show gratitude for their time.

  • Maintain the relationship. Demonstrate a return on their investment — their time — by keeping them updated on your progress, offering to help, and showing them that you appreciate the time and guidance they are giving to you.

Seventy-six percent of people say that mentors are important, but only 37% actually have one.

One way to reach out to your prospective mentor is by sending a short email. Offer things you admire about their work, then tell them a little about yourself and why you’re reaching out. After your first meeting, send a thank you note and follow up. Nurturing your relationship gives you the chance to connect further and to keep you on track and motivated. Your mentor is there to see you succeed and wants to know about your progress.

The mentor-mentee dynamic possesses the power to profoundly shape your professional trajectory. By tapping into their wealth of experience and wisdom, you can harness the tools necessary to emulate their triumphs while sidestepping their missteps.

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