Corporate Wellness

How To Find A Good Mentor

Mentorship can profoundly impact your life but only when you find the right mentor and build a fruitful relationship with them. Do you know what to look for in a mentor and how to find a mentor who can help and guide you? Learn the different aspects of the mentor-mentee relationship here.

By URLife Team
29 Dec 2022

Having a mentor in your life can prove to be invaluable. A good mentor has the knowledge and experience to help you reach your goals, grow as a person and progress in your career. But how to find a good mentor? And, once you've found one, how to stay connected to them?


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Why Do You Need To Find A Mentor?

In conversation with URLife, Gurugram-based certified-executive coach Debeshi Chakraborty says, "mentorship is essential and can be extremely powerful. A great mentor can motivate you, expand your horizons, foster connections, and build emotional intelligence. They create a supportive and non-judgmental environment for learning and exploration".

In the corporate world, mentors improve employee motivation, longevity, and knowledge storage. Mentorship is a great way to soak up the wisdom of those who have gone before you.

The right mentor can help you climb the ladder of success by:

  • Helping you stay motivated and decide which path you need to be successful
  • Providing you with knowledge about your field and helping you connect with subject matter experts
  • Becoming a valuable resource by providing advice and understanding what you need for great achievements
  • Exchanging meaningful career tips, allowing you to shadow under their guidance, and telling you about every new opportunity
  • Pushing you to acquire new skills that you may need in the future for success
  • Providing constructive criticism and cheering you on your milestones


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Finding A Mentor In The Correct Manner

According to Ms. Chakraborty, finding a mentor who leads, supports, and motivates you to achieve better goals in life isn't rocket science, but it's also not child's play. Here are a few tips to help you find the right mentor for career growth:

1. Know Who You Look Up To

What job do you want in five, 10, or 15 years? Is the person whose job position you are picturing right now someone in your workplace or outside of it? Who's your role model in your job right now?

Make a list of the jobs and people you're visualising. Consider getting an identity-based mentor at your job if you're part of an underrepresented group and need someone to talk to.


2. Begin With Your Research

Mentorship is a valuable tool, so if you're asking someone to be your mentor, think about how you want to get there. Get the inside scoop on the steps they took to get to where they are now. Take notes and get the lowdown on their journey.


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3. Become Aware Of Your Network

Are you already being informally mentored? If so, it's super effective to reach out and ask for more help and guidance, the more aware someone is of your skills and achievements, the better the result. Don't be afraid to connect if you haven't talked to someone before. Make sure that whomever you have in mind is also an expert in what you need advice on.


4. Understand The Difference Between A Sponsor And Mentor

Mentors give advice, sure, but not the most desirable stuff, like a new job, salary raise, or promotion. That's where sponsors come in; they're the ones who can get you the big things. They could be your boss or an employer from a different industry.

Don't expect your mentors to be sponsors, but they could put you in touch with the right people. Mentors may stick around for years, depending on how you maintain the relationship, but sponsors tend to be more short-term.


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How To Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor

Ms. Chakraborty says, "Once you have decided whom you want to become a mentee under, it's time to approach them and ask whether they can mentor you". But how to do that?

1. Make An Elevator Pitch

Set clear goals and communicate why you think this person is the most appropriate mentor for you. Ask how much time you are willing to contribute and what you are willing to give in response, keeping communication clear. The mentorship will be smooth if you're both clear about what you need from the beginning.


2. Ensure The Person Is The Right Mentor For You

Recognising whether a particular person is a good mentor for you is simple if you set up informal meetings to discuss your goals and aspirations and then ask them to be your mentor with the elevator pitch you made.


3. Mention Why They Can Guide You

Suppose your boss introduced you to a potential mentor, and neither of you knows what the other did. Study the work the person has done. Then show up with what you like about that work. This shows that you have a considered approach.


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4. Get Into The Details If It's A Cold Email

Think about what you love, particularly the person's work, and why you want to engage with them. Is the audience worth their while to communicate with you? If you've never met, consider a brief phone conversation and carefully examine this person's calendar.

Some notable things to mention are:

  • Be clear: about when you want to meet and how much time you'll give, and make sure that it works for them
  • Work together: Mention that you'll work together to develop agendas that match those goals before each meeting
  • Emphasise that this mentorship is an option rather than an obligation: We are all busy, and you should approach this topic with the awareness that they might say no. And if that happens, thank them for considering, leaving the door open for future connection


How To Be A Good Mentee

It takes two to tango; the same goes for a mentor-mentee relationship. You can't expect your mentor to do everything for you while you don't try to nurture the relationship. Here are a few tips that can make you a better mentee:

1. Don't Be Afraid To Approach For That First Meeting

Reaching out to somebody you may not know is intimidating, especially if they're senior in your industry. To ease the pressure, remind yourself that they might have had mentors. Take a minute to reach out and ask them for a short 15 to 30-minute virtual coffee break; they may be appreciative. When you take the first step to initiate the meeting, it comes off as impressive, and your potential mentor will want to meet a confident person.


2. Lay Out An Agenda

Before each meeting, prepare your mentor an agenda, something you may want to read with them, a new project you've worked on and want feedback on, or indicate that you're looking for a promotion or a raise.


3. Keep An Open Mind For Feedback

It can be difficult to take a compliment when you don’t know how to respond. a And in the same manner, it might not be easy to hear criticism for your hard work. But listening to feedback, whether critical or positive, makes you a good mentee.


4. Nurture The Relationship

Taking the time to connect with people is key to strengthening your bond with anyone, especially your mentor. Here's how you can do it:

  • Be keen to know them: Your first meeting or virtual call is an opportunity to establish new rapport. Remember that you are still getting to know each other, so try not to focus strictly on work-related topics. Most people will be happy to look forward to a personal chat after a working day. By the middle of the first call, it's appropriate to reference their career questions and discuss areas they would like to develop. As you end the call, express how much you've learned from them
  • Send a thank you note: After your meeting, send a thank you note sometime in the same week. In your message, summarise some key things you learned during the conversation, and let them know you would like to speak again soon.
  • Follow-up: You should follow up with your guide to inform them about what you discussed in the initial discussion within three to five weeks after you sent them the thank you message.


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5. Maintain The Relationship

By asking someone to be your mentor, you are also asking them to invest in you. Be candid about the value of your mentorship by showcasing returning investment.

  • Update them regularly: Send your mentor catch-ups of what you could achieve from their advice. Keep updating them through emails or texts.
  • Offer help: As with any relationship, mentorship is a two-way street. Give back your progress to your mentor by checking in on them and seeing if they ever want your help.
  • Show gratitude: A thank you note doesn’t necessarily need to be lengthy. A short "thanks for your time, or it was great to catch up!" will suffice to let them know that you appreciate their help and the time they are investing.


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Finding the right mentor can be a gratifying experience, and it will take time, energy, and dedication; but it will be worth it all. Moreover, staying connected with your mentor doesn't need to be difficult, as there are many ways to stay connected over distance. Ultimately, it's all about having an open dialogue with them and ensuring that you are both on the same page.


Better relationships, effortless conversations and stronger connections—find the key to your true potential. Sign up.


The above article contains advice and inputs from certified executive coach, Debeshi Chakraborty






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