“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius.
You might be thinking: “That is my plan, but how do I get there?” To begin ask yourself two questions: 1. Where am I now? And 2. Where do I want to be? Take time to dig deep within yourself to find these answers. Do your research, make an idea board, journal and maybe even find a mentor.
You can think of a mentor as someone who is your trusted adviser, someone who has been there for you during tough times and helped get you through it with their professional expertise. A mentor might be a fellow alumni, a colleague from a professional organization, someone who is on a volunteer committee with you or a current co-worker. Your ideal mentor might even be someone you have established a friendship with and maybe you have thought “wow I would love to have a job like that one day.” Some of the best mentor/mentee relationships stem from friendships!
How to Find Your Mentor:
To find the perfect mentor, consider finding a person you are already interacting with or working with now. Someone who knows you, your amazing skills and would be interested in helping you further your professional career. Your mentor is one of your biggest cheerleaders. If you don’t feel as though you are currently interacting with a person who you would consider a mentor, get out there and make professional connections to expand your circle! Join a professional organization, volunteer with a charity that is important to you or try a new hobby.
How to Approach a Mentor:
How exactly does the mentor/mentee relationship start? The truth is – you might already have a mentor and not know it! Think back to when you applied for your job, who did you use as your three references? Would you consider these people your mentors? Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book Lean In “When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious. The question becomes a statement.” Perhaps you will not be asking someone to be your mentor, but instead thanking them for mentoring you and asking to meet up more frequently.
How to Structure Your Mentor/Mentee Relationship:
Once you have established a relationship with your mentor, be sure to keep in touch! You don’t have to come up with a “schedule” per se, however meeting with your mentor should be fun! Set up monthly or quarterly lunch or coffee dates to catch up on how you are progressing with your goals while catching up on their professional successes as well. As a mentee, be sure to be open, flexible, resilient, respectful, eager to learn and committed – make this time valuable to your mentor too! As you continue to succeed, your mentor will feel that sense of accomplishment as well.
– By Martha Albergotti, the VP of Franchise Development at Pure Barre. Martha is passionate about helping women find a career that they are passionate about! Read more articles like this one on her LinkedIn page.