Are You The One? Finding The Right Mentor For You

Are You The One? Finding The Right Mentor For You

So, you’ve decided that you want to start a mentoring relationship. But now what? You need to find a mentor. That might be easier said that done, however. Finding a mentor that’s a good fit for you is an important part of the mentoring process, one that is worth the effort and the time.

And it’s about more than just finding someone you like. You need to be intentional about finding a mentor, and you must consider more than personality — consider learning styles and communication styles.

Here are some things to consider as you begin your search:

  • It starts with you — What are you looking to learn? What attributes are you looking for in a mentor? Knowledge, expertise, experience (or all of the above)?
  • Identify your “must haves” — What do you need to have in a mentoring relationship? Make a list!
  • Use your network like crazy — Tell people what you’re looking for. You never know who they might be able to introduce you to! Meet people, get contact information, research names, find out what you can. Your network is a great tool when looking for the ideal mentor.
  • Go back to your list — Once you’ve collected a list of possible mentors, figure out who meets your criteria (and who doesn’t) and begin to select the ones you’d like to reach out to.

Some do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t:
    • Pick someone who will be too easy on you
    • Select someone just because they like you
    • Choose someone because they are the most convenient
    • Opt for someone because you already have a relationship
    • Choose someone you report to directly
  • Do:
    • Seek a good learning fit between what you need and what this person has to share
    • Find out if this person has sufficient time to mentor you
    • Ask yourself if this person will challenge and encourage you to constantly raise the bar for yourself
    • Consider if this person appears to be a good listener, has a sincere desire and willingness to mentor, and the knowledge and expertise you need.

Now the fun part: Meet them! Make sure to set up time to get to know your potential mentors, and see if they fit your mentoring criteria. Once you meet them you’ll quickly be able to tell if they are the right one for you.

(Photo via Flickr CC: Mateus Lunardi Dutra)

Finding a mentor on social media


Whether you’re a mentor or a mentee, social media is a fantastic tool to amplify your voice and help you join communities. It provides you with the tools to reach out to those who inspire you to develop your career. Luckily, there are many social tools to help you along the way. Let’s look at the benefits of using social media as a mentor or mentee.

Finding a mentor

You could tweet a potential mentor on Twitter or send them a message on LinkedIn. But, convincing someone you’ve never met to be your mentor can be tricky. It’s critical that you know as much as possible about your prospective mentor before you reach out. Fortunately, researching is easy.

On Twitter, you can identify possible mentors by monitoring trending hashtags or creating lists of influential people. And, on LinkedIn, you can join industry-specific groups and build relationships with people you find inspiring.

Connecting with a mentor

Depending on the etiquette of the platform, reaching out to your potential mentor could be easy. On Twitter, it’s as simple as a follow. After you follow your potential mentor, make sure to add their handle to a list so that you can easily find and interact with their content.

On LinkedIn, it’s challenging. You don’t want your budding mentor to see you as spam, so be genuine and sincere. Reach out to them via InMail before you send an invitation to connect. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform — avoid the cat videos and silly memes.

Be yourself

When you interact on social media, be yourself. Being honest with potential mentors is the key to building rewarding professional relationships. In our digital world, it’s easy to connect and build professional relationships with people in any industry.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out!