When I was in my twenties I learned about the concept of mentor. I landed my first corporate job. It was the largest company that I have ever worked for. There were very few people that looked like me. And I had a very short window to get up to speed and figure out what the heck I was doing. Then a friend suggested to me that I get a mentor.
“A mentor?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “A mentor.”
I reached out to a few people that I knew and I finally started a monthly call with my old college professor. She was so supportive and really became my secret weapon in maneuvering through the political mindful of corporate America.
Back in those days, I was positive that by the time I got into my 40’s I would pretty much have my ‘ish’ together. And have this whole life and adulting thing worked out. Boy was I wrong.
Unless you’ve decided to stop growing, launching and learning you will always need mentors to help you reach your next big goal
I have to admit that finding a mentor at my age has been tricky. I felt awkward asking for someone to mentor me when I was serving as a mentor myself. And to top it off most of the mentors I wanted to work with were younger than me.
A mentor can be gamechanger.
But I realized that none of that mattered. I cared much more about reaching my goals than I cared about my ego or what other people thought of me. And I came to the realization that I need both my mom and a mentor. I also realized that non-traditional mentorship can be just as effective as face-to-face mentoring meetups.
Here are the ways that I get mentorship support that helps me reach my goals:
I expanded my definition of what mentorship means. Face to face mentorship is great. But some of my favorite mentor mentee relationships are through books and online videos. Learn all you can from mentors that you love and respect through their writing and speeches.
Mentorship programs. Invest in expert classes led by leaders in your field or industry or attend their events or master classes. You’ll learn how your industry giants overcome challenges, and often get bonus info on how they see the future of your industry growing and changing as well.
Invest in a coach. If you can’t find the kind of mentor support that you need. The advantage of working with a coach is the accountability and the constructive feedback.
Develop informal mentor relationships. Find someone doing what you are doing and ask if they can have a catch up call with you each month. Make the call brief and let them know from the onset that as you get to them better you will be looking for ways to support them too. Try to find out how you can support your mentor within the first 60 days of being their mentee.
Big goals or major transformations require support. A mentor can be just the thing to help you make a major breakthrough or reach a new milestone. Get one to help you get there.