What Does Your Mentor Look Like?
Have you ever had a mentor that has made so much of a difference in your life either personally or professionally that you are forever grateful to that person? Someone that cared, took an interest or believed in you? If your answer is yes, then you know exactly where I am coming from. If the answer is no….go find that person now. Okay, that might be easier said than done.
Finding a mentor will happen but first you need to determine what that person looks like to you. I have been very fortunate to have had mentors both personally and professionally and unless you are lucky enough to have one fall in your lap, it might take a little more effort to clearly define what you are looking for and then to go out and find that person. Find a quiet place with a pad and pen and think about answers to the following questions:
1) What is your ultimate goal? Are you looking for a job, advance in a current job, learn how to manage some of the day to day challenges at work. Do you want to change jobs or even better, change careers. If you are a student, are you trying to find direction after high school or college? Do you want to make changes in your personal life? Whatever your ultimate goal is, it will help determine the type of person that you should seek out.
2) What qualities are important to you? Do you prefer a male or female? Do you want someone in a specific profession? Does the person have the ability to give you honest feedback? Are they ethical? Are they outspoken or soft spoken? Are they very serious or can they be silly? Have they had similar experiences that you have had? Are they caring or very reserved? What qualities in a person absolutely bug you? You should ask yourself all of these questions and more.
3) Identify your own values. Are you honest and have integrity? What are your thoughts about family and friendships? Is money important to you? Do you work hard, love to travel, value education? Understanding who you are and what is important to you is key.
4) Once you have been able to define the type of person, make a list of the places where you might find them. Are they in the corporate environment? If so, what type of profession are they in? Do they work in a school? Are they a teacher or administrator? Do they work for a non-profit? Are they a doctor, lawyer, vet, construction worker, day care provider, travel agent? Do they live in another part of the country? The more specific that you get with this question, the better.
Finding a mentor can happen in a variety of ways. There are many corporations that have their own formalized “mentorship” programs. Within these programs, you will be paired up with a senior person in the company that has expressed an interest in being a mentor. The second way seems to happen very naturally. There is a natural connection to a person and you may not understand why but this person just happens to come into your life and has a very powerful impact on you. This person can be anyone, an older family friend, a teacher, boss, acquaintance, administrator and they can come from any walk of life. However you meet this person, there will be something about them that will resonate with you. Often times your mentor will have a very similar personality and values as you have, maybe they have had similar experiences, or are in a position that you would like to be in some day. However you find your mentor and who ever this person might be, enjoy the journey and cherish the relationship because it is one that can be life changing for you
Cheryl Friscia is a Certified Coach and Entrepreneur. After 15 years in the corporate environment she launched her own business to share her coach training, corporate experience and 23 years as a mother, with other professionals who want to catapult their lives into something great. Cheryl spends a significant amount of time working with young men and women in navigating through all of the choices available and guiding them to determine a positive direction. Cheryl's job as a Coach is to inspire and work with you to align your passions with your core values.