We can all benefit from guidance in our personal and professional lives. Having someone who has been in our shoes and has walked our path can be an invaluable resource. Usually, this guidance comes in the form of a mentor. Your mentor can be someone who you can turn to when you’re struggling or when you need advice or feedback. You can think of a mentor as a coach or a teacher, someone with more experience than you do in your current situation. Today, Forbes Times Only offers some pragmatic suggestions on how working with a mentor can help you on your career path.
Finding a Mentor
When you’re considering working with a mentor, you’ll first need to decide what it is exactly you want them to help you with. It’s best if you make a written list that you can make as detailed or as open-ended as you want.
Social media is one way to look for mentors since the community is so large. If you search for groups that are relevant to your needs, you’ll be surprised by how many you’ll find. From there, you can openly ask if anyone in the group would be open to serving as a mentor for you. Many people want to become mentors because they, at one point, benefited from having one themselves and want to pay it forward.
Past bosses that you’ve had a positive work experience with can be great mentors, as can former and current colleagues. Seek out experts in your field that you know and respect, and reach out to them. Let them know you’re eager to pursue that particular path and ask if they can offer advice. If they seem eager to help, then, later on, you can ask them about a possible mentor-mentee relationship.
How to Be a Good Mentee
The mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street. You can’t expect to just show up and sit there while your mentor drops pearls of wisdom on you. It’s important that you come in humbly, ready to listen with an open mind. Be an active listener, take notes and never forget to show your appreciation by sharing some things that can help your mentor, too.
If you’re given tasks that your mentor feels can benefit you, then complete them and then some. Give yourself homework based on what they’ve shared with you. Or prepare an agenda of what you’d like your session to accomplish each time. This shows you respect your mentor’s time as well as make each session the most effective and efficient.
Mentors When You’re in School
Mentors aren’t just valuable when you’re trying to improve your career, they can be a wonderful resource when you’re pursuing your degree. They don’t necessarily have to be a professor, but they should be someone further along in their education than you.
Your education mentor can help you by encouraging you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but more than that, they can help you learn why you’re feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it’s your course load, your study habits, or your research methods. Your mentor can help you set achievable and realistic goals.
And they can guide you with one of the most difficult aspects of your college experience: time management. The new freedom that comes with attending college can make time management a real problem for students who have been more used to the tight structure of high school.
An Education Mentor
Your career as an educator means you’ll become a professional mentor since that’s the basics of teaching-guiding students through their lives and education. Your passion for helping to develop children’s academic as well as cognitive and social skills can become a rewarding career with a bachelor’s degree in education.
Click here to learn how it’s possible, through online degree programs, to earn your degree by studying at your own pace and on your own schedule. And you can finish sooner since core classes are only five weeks long. Besides classroom teaching, there are lots of career opportunities when you have a degree in education.
Remember that mentors are not paid, they give their time and expertise to you free of charge, so you want to be sure you’re ready, you’re serious, and that you’re open to learning, taking criticism, and even perusing paths you hadn’t considered before like perhaps a degree in education or any alternative career choice.
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