A mentor is a very valuable person you can have in your life. Many people don't see education as a life-long process but it really is. If you're not learning, you're not growing, and after receiving a formal education, a lot of people think that they're set in life and won't need another teacher to show them the way. But a mentor does more than what a teacher would do. A mentor guides you, advises you, and supports you in not only your personal life, but also in your career. Think of a mentor as a friend who've done what you've done and can show you how to do it better than what you're doing now.
Al Dea, a professional career coach, wants you to ask several questions about your prospective mentor that would lead you to finding the best mentor for both yourself and for your career.
- Do they actually have experience in doing what you're doing, career wise?
- Do they care about whether or not others succeed?
- Do they give clear, concise, and constructive feedback?
- Do they speak truthfully, regardless if it would hurt you or others?
- Do they invest in themselves?
- Do they value personal growth in general?
- Do they have your respect both as a person at work and as a person in society?
- Do they have the respect of others, both at work as well as in their regular life?
- Have they been mentored by others?
Dea says that your prospective mentor doesn't need to be a fit for every single one of these questions, but the more the merrier. All of these questions seek to answer the question of what makes a good mentor, which Dea goes in depth, point by point, in the article. Applying these questions into finding a mentor can be very beneficial in not only your development as a professional, but also in your development as a person.
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