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How to Find a Mentor That Helps Fast-Track Your Career Success

How to Find a Mentor That Helps Fast-Track Your Career Success

It takes some courage to venture into the employment world and start building a career or maybe a business. Your education will certainly help, as well as your previous experience. However, to truly shine, you will need a guide to show you the way. Sheryl Sandberg[1] says that women who have mentors are more accomplished and have more confidence in the workplace. The same could probably be said for men, too.

Mentorship is important because starting out can be overwhelming and scary. But finding the right mentor doesn’t come so easily. It is not an answer to the yes or no question or luck. Finding a mentor needs hard work, ambition and persistence. Here’s how you can put that to task and find yourself a great mentor.

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Be Clear about What Help You Need from Your Mentor

Before you go looking, sit down and think hard about what you want and need from your mentor. Ask yourself whether you want help with a current project or someone for the long-run who knows the insides and outs of your field.

Perhaps you are starting a clothing line and you want to put your company and brand on the map. Asking a fellow company can be a nice idea but not the best one. What works for them might not be applicable to your brand, market, and what if your finances can’t support that plan? Checking in with a similar brand but from a different branch could be better. Because of the similarities, they will understand you, you will feel closer to them, and some great ideas might be born out of that collaboration.

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With that said, prior to seeking help, know what your end game is. Having some kind of a starting point could lead you in the right direction. Once that is set up, everything else will come into place naturally.

Demonstrate Your Potential to Your Mentor

Approaching someone and saying, “Hey, will you be my mentor?” is not the way to go. This is not a store where you can walk in and ask if they have those jeans in size 12. Acquiring a mentor takes work. Instead of going from person to person asking, why don’t you show them what you can do? Demonstrate your potential. Show them your previous projects, or, if you’ve been following their work, why not show them how you would have done it. Your mentor will want to know what you are capable of. Just saying it is not convincing enough.

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It’s Better to Find Someone You Know to be Your Mentor

Your mentor will not be just any random stranger. It will, and should, be someone you are familiar with. This might mean someone you are working with or an acquaintance. Heck, it might be a person outside of work, or outside of your career field. It can be your neighbour, for all you know. But if that is not the case, if no one on your contact list fits the description, you need to go out and find them. Polish your networking skills and learn how to win someone over.[2]

Contribute Something in Return to Show You’re Not Only a Taker

The relationship you are about to start should be a two-way street. Don’t be selfish and expect not to give anything in return. Actually, by showcasing that you can be beneficial to the potential mentor only increases your chancing of getting one. Not a single person will be willing to work for nothing. Use your skills to help on something they are working on, support them, share your thoughts and opinions. This way they will know that they can count on you and that you are not here just to use their knowledge without giving back.

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Careers can be tough to make, but holding your ground and keeping your ambition should get you through the rough patch. Just think of those you admire — they had to start somewhere, too. Accept that you will have bad moments, but don’t let that drag you down. Stand firmly on your feet, keep your head high and have tenacity — just like those mentors. After all, isn’t that what made them?

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Milica Mladenovic

Content Writer, Blogger

How to Find a Mentor That Helps Fast-Track Your Career Success

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Last Updated on September 23, 2020

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

Most People Already Know Their Passion

So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

How to Do What You Love

There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

Final Thoughts

If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

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Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

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