Whether you’re new to gig work, traditionally employed and thinking about making the switch, or have been at this for a while, anyone can benefit from a career mentor. The person you choose as a career mentor can help you establish goals, overcome obstacles, and steer you towards gigs most meaningful to you. Where do you find such a person? Keep reading for some tips that can help you find the ideal career mentor.
What Are You Looking to Improve, and Who Can Help You Do It?
People sometimes avoid self-reflection, but it doesn’t have to be a painful process unless you make it so. Before deciding who to turn to for guidance, start by asking yourself what you hope to learn from that person.
For example, do you want to partner with someone significantly older than you who currently does the type of work you would like to do later in your career? This type of career mentor is valuable if you would like to chart your career path several years in advance and he or she can teach you the skills you need to get there.
Are you looking to learn new computer languages to increase your value to clients? Work as a travel agent from home helping fellow gig workers with their business travel plans? Taking the time to reflect on what you would like to achieve should help bring to mind who to ask to be your career mentor. If not, you will need to commit to additional networking to find just the right career mentor to meet your needs.
Join Groups or Try to Meet People That Can Nurture the Skills You Hope to Develop
Maybe you don’t have a wide circle of business contacts yet. Not everyone does, especially when they are new to gig work or just out of college. The good news is that you don’t have to spend years widening your circle. You can join online or in-person groups with people at a similar career stage or with those who can help you hone your skills.
Don’t be afraid to let others know you’re looking for a career mentor and be sure to hand out your business card every chance you get. Most people feel honored by someone asking them to be a career mentor and will be eager to work with you.
You May Have to Meet Many Potential Career Mentors Before You Find the Right One
Sometimes a person seems like a good fit as a career mentor, but you quickly find out this isn’t the case. When that happens, don’t feel obligated to remain in a mentor-mentee relationship if it isn’t mutually beneficial. Network as often as possible and keep talking to a lot of people and the right person will come your way. As you start this unique relationship, remember that you have a lot to offer as well. While your career mentor has more experience, you can bring a fresher perspective to the table.
The benefit you get from having a mentor depends on doing your due diligence finding the right one and then investing in nurturing the relationship. The effort equals reward principle is true in most other areas of life as well.
About the Author: Lisa Kroulik has worked as a freelance content marketing writer for 10 years. She loves the work and the lifestyle it affords. Learn more about Lisa’s work and availability through Writer Access.