Cover Image

7 BEST STEPS TO FIND A MENTOR FOR YOUNG ASPIRING FOLKS

7 Best steps to find a mentor for aspiring folks is discussed in detail in this article..Wow..it’s really trendy, much needed subject. “A mentor is someone who allows you to “see the hope” inside yourself – Quotes by Oprah Winfrey, a very famous American talk show host, actor, a producer, author and a philanthropist. Very powerful and successful woman who aspired to her dreams and showcased herself as a best illustration of hard work and dedication. 

Quotes By Oprah Winfrey

We have also seen and it is a fact that Swami Vivekanandaji’s Life Changing Motivational Talks and Values has been synonymous with inspiring many young folks and influencing them. What Would Be The Common Factor We Can See In Both Persons’ Lives And Reason Behind Their Success? Yes, the most amazing factor they had in their lives, i.e. their respective Mentor/Life Mentor who helped to convert their intense dreams into Reality. 

Everyone needs at least one great life mentor in his or her lifetime. Mentors’ guidance will surely play a decisive role in building a path and achieving greater heights with a focused mindset. Life mentors are not only the professional ones, we usually think of like teachers and coaches, but also everyday people in our lives. You have to keep your eyes open; otherwise, you just miss out on one of your greatest life Mentors.

HOW TO FIND A MENTOR

Some commonly asked questions by today’s young generation like, what is my next step after graduation.  How to be prepared myself to face the outside world competitions? How to find a mentor? Who can guide me? Etc.

When you grow from the childhood stage to adulthood stage, you enter into a very crucial phase of your career where you need to take important decisions to draw a success graph in the future. However, due to tremendous pressure, limited time and huge competitions, you may end up with some flaws in your decisions, which can pave the way to failure also. In short, if you want to get ahead in your career especially when you are in a dreadful situation, make connections and learn insider information that can give you a Head Start on the competition, you need to find a mentor. Most of your problems will be solved if you are able to find a mentor on time. If you are just starting out, it is essential that you learn how to get a mentor, but a trusted advisor can also help you at any time in your life. Can’t seem to smash that glass ceiling? Hit by a roadblock in your career? Mentors provide invaluable guidance in all of these situations.

WHY DO I NEED A MENTOR TO GUIDE ME?

Start by asking yourself the right questions to determine the mentor you need. Put yourself out there to find role models. In the process of understanding and analyzing how to find a mentor, we came across an interesting and inspiring profile of Sudarshan B. His vast experience as well as successful career in both cricket and HR profession are surely going to inspire young generations. Initially he started his career in cricket as a Qualified Umpire from Karnataka Cricket Association. His hard work, dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm helped him to qualify as youngest umpire in the year 2000. It was an amazing journey of learning and he was able to make a remarkable growth in his cricket career.Then he switched his career to the HR and Finance industry. A perfect enlightened profile where we can understand that he was able to balance both passion and career by finding a right mentor during the initial stage of his career.How he did it? To know more about that, here are the Excerptions of the interview with Sudarshan. B (edited by Sowmya Hosabettu)

A. What is your passion? How do you feel about yourself when you look back and rewind your journey?

First, I am very thankful to the mcqna365.com team for giving me this platform to share my experience and I hope this small information definitely would help young generations to pursue their dream career. Yes, if you ask me about my passion, definitely its CRICKET.

I do believe that passion can be anything but once it is achieved, a person will move to the next level of that field or he will move to a different field where he/she wishes to explore from scratch. 

When I look back and rewind my initial journey it feels very delightful and amazing. I will never miss any learning opportunities in the coming days also, because if you need to survive in the competition, then you have to be updated with the current phase. I always agree that we should enjoy each moment of our life and face the challenges courageously then only we can lead a result oriented satisfactory life.

B. Do you believe that “Mentor is someone who allows you to see hope inside yourself” if yes then, how will you define a mentor’s role in your career?

Mentorship is a relationship between two or more people in which one-person guides the other through his actions /words/deeds on the way to progressing to reach the desired goal. It is not necessary that Mentor has to be from the same field/specialization, he can be anyone but who expands the horizon of mentee’s thought process and aligns the discipline, skill sets required to reach the goal. It is a kind of process where the mentee will be a student (not a formal way) or mentor. 

During my college days, it was imminent that I will be connected to cricket in the future as well. Initially, I played for college, zones and university level cricket matches, gradually my focus moved from playing cricket to Officiating the matches either in the form of Umpiring/ scoring. In this journey, I had the privilege of meeting K.BALAKRISHNA PAI, who is my mentor, my GURU and one of the best communicators I have seen in my life. He is a big thinker of the game. Through his guidance, I had the opportunity of getting many local matches being officiated as umpire which helped to sharpen my skill sets required for umpiring. This also paved the way for me to get qualified in state level cricket umpiring exams in 2000, which also made me to be recognized as the youngest umpire to get qualified in Karnataka. During these years, I was clarifying each point of matches in sync with the rulebook with my mentor. With this passion, the journey took me to professional scoring in wisden, which dominated Cricket for the last 157 years through its incisive journalism.

This period gave me early exposure in the cricket world and also made me to deep drive into unknown zones i.e. cricket rules such as Handled the ball, Hit the ball twice (this rule abolished now) etc. However, when I moved further towards my passion a certain situation made me RE-THINK on the way forward. Gradually I moved to the corporate sector and took the right guidance from my senior colleagues, which definitely helped me to reach great heights in the field. 

C. It is evident that Mentor has played a major role in developing your career, but every one does not have the privilege or ability to reach the right mentor in their life. According to you, which method or steps to be followed to find a mentor?

These days, it is not easy to guide youngsters, as they are already having exposure in all aspects. However, I would really emphasize on having mentorship if one wishes to progress in his/her chosen field. Constructive criticism from a mentor will make your future path clearer and without having to undergo a lot of bottlenecks/ hardships on the path to achieving goals. Conditioning of mental health required is also one of the main aspects in this relationship. 

During my college days and initial career journey I didn’t have the opportunity to find a matching mentor through any professional mentorship programs. But the situation has changed a lot, as nowadays we can approach the best professional/ career guidance programs where they provide matched mentors according to our need. 

Before approaching any professional mentorship program, you need to follow some steps and identify yourself to find a mentor. Here are 7 easy and effective steps to find a mentor:

Seven Easy and Best Steps to Find a Mentor

1. Determine your needs:

Getting a mentor who is aligned with your needs for personal growth is a vital step. Ask yourself why you want to find a mentor. Have you set a specific goal? For example, if you want to start a dental practice or build a real estate business, find someone with expertise in those industries. If you want to better innovate, find a visionary. Get a mentor who has what you want in life. They can help you earn what they have.

2. Create the opportunity:

When you are considering how to get a mentor, don’t just make a list and start calling people. Getting a mentor is about building relationships. Most people have potential mentors around them- college professors, high level executives, sports coaches. Try to get information and reach them through any event planning or digital media.

3. Find the right person:

Once you know what type of mentor you need and you have created the meet this person, it’s time to narrow down your options. These traits make the difference between a good mentor and a great one:

  • They are not threatened by your success; they are proud of it.
  • They don’t try to compete with you; they lift you up
  • They are not just interested in your success, but completely invested in it.
  • They know how to motivate you and challenge you to achieve more.
  • They are trustworthy-a mentor’s advice is only good if you trust enough to take it.

4. Ask in the right way:

Once you have chosen a potential mentor, you need to ask them if they are willing to work with you-and you must do it in the right manner. Remember they are doing a favor by taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. Do not immediately make a big ask, be gracious and work with their schedule and do not get impatient or demanding.

5. Evaluate the fit:

Just because a mentor looks good on paper does not mean your fit is guaranteed. When you find a mentor, you need to spend some time with them before you can decide if they are the right match. You may not know during the first meeting whether you connect successfully- it may take several meetings now for sure.

6. Follow up:

Whether you decide to pursue a potential person as a mentor or not, it is up to you to follow up after your initial meetings. Always thank them for the opportunity to talk with them and for their time. If you think it’s a good fit, request another meeting. If you don’t be honest and move on.

7. Commit to the partnership:

When you find a mentor, you have to commit to working with them. This means making your meeting with them a priority and at least considering all their suggestions and advice. Remember you wanted to learn how to get a mentor so you could change and grow- and growth does not happen without at least some discomfort.

The mentor that is right for your coworker may not be right for you. Many people have trouble finding that perfect match and that’s OK. Mentors come in more than one form. I too struggled but never gave up, in fact perfect mentor played major role in my Cricket umpiring career, otherwise I would have been struggling /wandering without clarity and would have ended up in early quitting this field without any progress

Benefits of having a life mentor/mentor:

Benefits of Having a Life Mentor/Mentors

Life mentors are not only the professional ones, we usually think of like teachers and coaches, but also everyday people in our lives, for e.g. : some of our current mentors, include close friends, family members & colleagues. Some of the main benefits of having a life mentor are as below:

  1. They will support you after a setback: have you ever felt really down after a setback? Your life mentor supports you when you are feeling down by motivating you.
  2. They believe in you more than you do: your mentor knows your credibility and potential. Their belief will fuel your own inner self-belief.
  3. They can give you honest feedback: it is tremendously beneficial to have somebody else to be a real mirror in your life. 
  4. They always motivate and inspire you to take action: when you are making any excuses or afraid to move forward, your life mentor realizes this and alerts you.
  5. You can learn a lot from their experience: mentor’s experience will act as a repository of knowledge and help to learn quickly from the same.
  6. They ask you challenging questions: allow your mentor to coach you by asking you the biggest questions you really need to sit with. Sometimes when they put across such questions that only you could figure out for yourself-that is when you will make the biggest leap.
  7. They will assist you with proper tools to face the unprecedented situation in your life.

How should you pay a Mentor?

How Should You Pay a Mentor

In general opinion, there is “no” need to pay a mentor. A mentoring relationship should be based on trust, friendship, honesty and professionalism. Well, the idea of paying for mentoring depends upon the way of thinking and relationship. 

When a person undergoes a mentoring that can be categorized into following forms, accordingly it can be categorized as “how you pay a mentor”.

Informal mentors:  these might be people who love and care about you, who want to see you succeed. These people you can call for advice and they are happy to help you.

How you pay them: you pay them through gratitude and quite possibly through your success. They will feel so great knowing they had a positive impact on you.

Mentors from a distance: these might include someone like an author or a speaker who you do not know personally, their wisdom and motivational writing or values must have deeply influenced your life and vision. You follow them unknowingly and become successful.

How you pay them: you pay these types of mentors by recommending their books, sharing their post perhaps even sending them a note of gratitude. 

Formal mentoring programs through organization or your company: many firms have mentoring programs. This is where you are paired with someone who has experience you’d like to gain. The key is to have a match that is a good fit.

How you pay them: you pay with great “follow” so they feel their advice is being heard. You express your gratitude and share your wins. They also get paid by learning from you and through the experience of having to clarify their own process in a way that they can communicate well with you.

Professional mentoring relationship: you engage or enroll in a program or one -on-one relationship with people who can help you grow in areas you need knowledge and support.

How you pay them: in this kind of mentoring, they have structured programs with fixed monetary fees, which you need to pay during the registration for the same.

How to evaluate professional mentorship programs

How to Evaluate Professional Mentorship Programs

Mentor or partnership programs connect people who have specific skills and knowledge (mentor) with individuals (mentee) who need or want the same skills and advantages to move up in work, skill level or school performance.

During a mentorship program, professional mentors should have your best interests at heart and give you the quality of time and experience that you need and should expect.

The fundamentals of this experience are the 3 “A”s which are outlined here. When you work with your mentor, you should experience these 3A’S working in tandem.

  1. Active listening: professional mentorship requires active listening as a fundamental approach. Active listening is an acquired skill that is not formally taught in school classrooms.

Active listening benefits mentees because their mentor:

  1. Stop talking: When someone stops talking, it can mean several things. It usually means they are thinking about what to say next, but it could also be reflection or distraction. When a professional mentor stops talking it means they are engaged in active listening and all of their attention is on what you are about to say and they are waiting to respond based on their depth of knowledge and experience.
  2. Pays attention and offers feedback: A professional mentor will always employ active listening in your sessions and you will feel the benefits of it even if you are unaware of that. Often your mentor will sum up what you say to the resource you have understood correctly. Quality feedback follows this close attention.
  3. Guides the conversation: you will notice that your professional mentor guides as if sailing a boat. They try to avoid close-ended questions and dead ends; instead they look for the open waters of discovery. To do this they use broad queries to suggest possible directions and outcomes for clients. Often it is not the mentor’s job to offer advice and solutions, rather they facilitate self-discovery. 
  1. Availability: when you work with professional mentors, they will make themselves available in several ways.
  1. Physical availability: professional mentors are always available for the scheduled sessions. They will meet you in a formal and professional manner and give you their full concentration for the duration of the session.
  2. Emotional availability: they not only use active listening techniques but they care about your career and its outcomes. After all, your success is also theirs. You will notice your emotional availability from the body language they use and their professional conduct.
  3. Out of hours contact: not all mentoring services will offer an out of hour contact services, but some do and this is another example of mentor availability. It might be an email service or a phone call at key moments for your career. Out of hours availability is something you can discuss with your mentors but it’s certainly possible and can be integral to your success.
  1. Analysis:
  1. Honesty and diplomacy: With a professional mentor, time is limited and you need the most value from the interaction as possible. That is why professional mentors are trained to answer your questions and concerns honestly and with diplomacy. There will not be any beating around the bush with a professional mentor, they dispense with formalities and target the issue.
  2. Insightful analysis: your professional mentors may have a wealth of industry experience but how up to date are they? Are they going to know about the issues and concerns facing a business like yours today? The answer is YES. In order to be an effective mentor they will keep up to date on any industry changes and modify their philosophy and analysis based on changing data.
  3. Objectivity and fairness: one key component of your mentor’s analysis of you is objectivity and fairness. This is partly why you go to see them, interacting with a professional and experienced mentor takes you out of your own world and helps you see new perspectives, even if those are uncomfortable at first.

These 3 “A” are very much fundamental to mentorship. what you need from your professional mentor to understand your career growth or business and solve common issues and problems. If you get nothing else from your mentor, you will get at least these 3 “A”s which is everything you need. 

Your professional mentor will engage with you through active listening which might be unsettling at first since so few people in life use active listening skills, they will make themselves available in 3 important ways to ensure you to get the most value from your time, finally they will offer you some excellent analysis to take your business or project forward.

Always remember this truth; many successful persons didn’t scale those lofty heights without the assistance of mentors along the way. A mentor has walked the path before; they know what to look out for and where the short cuts are.

Other Suggested Reads: 10 Tips for Finding a Mentor—and Making the Relationship Count

How To Find a Mentor in 5 Steps

– Sowmya Hosabettu