How to choose your Mentor
The role of a Mentor is pretty fundamental in your career and personal development.
A Mentor guides you, he/she is always there when you need someone impartial to talk to and is senior enough to give you the right advice in every situation you might need his/her help.
However... how to choose one and especially THE right one?
I have to admit I changed my Mentors according to my career stages and the achievements I was pursuing. If you are lucky you get a Mentor in your early career stages, but it's not always easy. Often you change job, you change city where you live, you change yourself and need other stimuli.
A Mentor is a sort of rode model, someone you admire and see as an example of person that you like how he/she behaves in professional and personal life.
It's not easy to find first of all, and not even to "maintain" as such along your career.
My suggestions on how to find and choose the right one are the following:
1) Choose someone you really admire. Independently from the gender (however I would probably suggest to have a Mentor of same gender) your Mentor has to be someone whose private life and career are something you see as an example of what you would like to achieve. There is no better person to ask advices to if not someone who's already done what you want to do and can tell you how to get there.
2) Choose someone who has the right network. Mentors are especially good for putting you in contact with other helpful people they know in their entourage. If you want to work in the entertainment industry, choose a Mentor who has worked or still work in that field, and can introduce you to other contact in that area. Be very sharp and focused on what you want to achieve.
3) Choose someone you laugh together easily. Mentors need to inspire you and make you feel comfortable in the conversations, that often are very personal and though. He/she needs to give you best advices in the hardest moments of your life, when often you have to decide between one route and another. You need to feel very easy in the conversation, via whatsapp, email and phone.
4) Choose someone who believes in you. Your Mentor is there to support you, reminding you what counts in life, how strong and powerful you are and how to leverage on your own strengths. Your Mentor is your best fan and wants you to succeed. Your success is his/her success too.
5) Don't be afraid to approach someone you haven't met yet to ask him/her to become your Mentor. If you feel there is a person you admire and think he/she can be your personal guide, don't be afraid to ask and approach this person. If you need an introduction, let someone introduce you to him/her. If you don't have anybody, don't be afraid to reach out via Linkedin / email / Facebook. If he/she is the right one, he/she 'll get back to you. Otherwise don't worry, there are plenty of right people out there ready to give support and help in their spare time.
6) Choose someone who is approachable and positive. You need someone you feel he/she could be your friend and you would enjoy going out for dinner with. A Mentor is available for a talk, is open and doesn't behave like he/she is too senior to talk to. Otherwise there is no real help from his/her side.
7) Choose more than one Mentor if needed. I would actually recommend to have 2 or better 3 different Mentors who have different background and approach to life and career. When in doubt with a choice to make, confronting their different suggestions could make you broad your overview, perceptions and options and could give you a better overview of what to do afterwards.
Hope these suggestions are helpful for you to choose and get your Mentor or Mentors.
Don't hesitate to reach out for more information and help - I'd love to be YOUR Mentor if you think I can be of support.
Eliana - firstname.lastname@example.org