Many of us are constantly looking at how we can grow in our lives and careers. Finding advice while progressing towards your goals is fantastic, and a great way to get some outside perspective. When looking for this type of advice, we look for it from mentors.
- an experienced and trusted adviser.
I’ve seen the idea of mentorship/mentoring thrown around a lot, mostly those new to a particular field. However, I see it often in the context of:
“Hey, can you mentor me?”
Well, isn’t that pretty official-sounding. What I think people seek is the experienced part of the definition I’ve posted above when looking for a mentor, but forget about the trusted part. And in order to trust a person, you need to develop a deeper relationship with that person.
Looking for a mentor doesn’t need to be (and really shouldn’t be) any sort of official question posed to someone you look up to but don’t know. Develop a relationship, and be invested in adding to the relationship. You can simply ask them questions about something you are working on, or about something that interests you that you know this person would have thoughts on to start. A mentor/mentee is not about strictly one person giving to another. It’s about give and take, learning from each other, and trusting one another.
You also don’t need to be the next Steve Jobs to be a mentor. If someone asks about your experience or looks for some advice, give your thoughts. Pass on the knowledge that you have. Everyone has experiences and perspectives that can help another in navigating his/her path forward.