I know I need a mentor but no one in my family went to college so I have no exposure to people with business expertise. How can I secure a mentor?
Everyone can benefit from having a mentor so kudos to you for recognizing the importance of it early in your career.
There are a few ways you can proceed, but let’s start with low-hanging fruit.
1. Ask a former professor 🧑🏫. Even if you’ve lost touch, reach out to ask for a chance to meet over coffee or a video call. Provide a career update and have a focused question or goal for the conversation. Use this opportunity to ask the professor if you can check in every few months or if they can connect you to someone who can provide additional insight or guidance.
2. Tap into social media platforms 👍. LinkedIn, Facebook (Groups), Instagram, Reddit and GitHub are a sampling of places to find people in your industry with experience. Follow them, comment on their posts, and see if you can strike up a dialog. Consider sending a direct message to ask for a brief call to learn about their career path. Some may ignore your request, while others may be generous. Be patient and determined.
3. Attend industry events 🙌. Research the meetups that occur in your industry. These can include local happy hours, lecture series, trade shows, and conferences. Services like Meetup can help you discover local events and other people with similar interests.
4. Join a mentoring platform 💻. While this option may cost some hard-earned cash, it could be worth it. Mentor Cruise primarily serves professionals in business, design and tech. Mentors set their own prices and scope of services and prices vary widely. For $100-200/per month, most mentors offer a 1:1 phone call supported by text and email. Pick My Brain is a marketplace for knowledge. Browse the “brains” to find a fit and notice that many offer free “meet me” sessions and offer mentoring packages for approximately $75 per session.
And, down the road, when someone reaches out to you for mentoring advice, return the favor. You’ll be glad you did.
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