So you’ve set out on a solo journey to the Promised Land – that big business or career aspiration of yours – and all seems to be going well from your vantage point.
However, even the Israelites needed Moses to show them the way to Canaan, and so do you. You need a mentor – that individual who has excelled in your chosen endeavour with a wealth of knowledge and experience to prove it.
The process of choosing a mentor is ideal, but to get the best, it must be carried out properly. Here are a few considerations to help with your choice:
1. A mentor should actively guide you
Yes, it’s nice that you’ve read all of John C. Maxwell’s books from cover to cover and you are inspired to achieve greatness, but this doesn’t make him your mentor because he neither knows you nor spends time with you on a regular basis to give you practical advice.
My suggestion: try asking an expert in your field who’s in your social circle. He or she’s already familiar with your personality and can tailor advice to suit your needs. Besides, ‘tough love’ (helpful criticism) is always easier to give and receive when there’s an existing relationship.
2. A mentor should genuinely want your success
Sadly, we live in a dog-eat-dog society and the possibility of some experts dreading your success is inevitable. Why? Because of the Competition Factor. The chances of contending for employers or clients with you in the future will be unwanted by some professionals. Choose a mentor who freely shares information with you, answers your questions about the industry and is likely to celebrate your eventual success with you.
3. A mentor should have an imperfect journey
It’s one thing to learn about challenges and another thing to learn about them based on someone’s firsthand experience. This is why it’s important to choose someone who has faced serious challenges, made mistakes on the way to success and readily admits them. Industry knowledge isn’t enough. Your mentor should share stories of difficult times and how he/she overcame. This prepares you in advance for your potential obstacles.
Choosing a mentor is a worthwhile process as it will propel you to success faster than when you walk alone. However, a deliberate and careful decision must be made when choosing your mentor.
About the Writer: Ify Halim is a young Creative and a promoter of values through the force that is writing. Follow her on twitter: @MissHalim