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Finding a mentor that will help you go further, faster !

       What is your definition of mentorship? Most people define mentorship as a one on one coaching relationship with someone that is usually older. The problem with this viewpoint is that it creates a narrow definition of what mentoring really is. Mentoring should be viewed as a two way street; if you find a person that is willing to provide you with special guidance and career advice, you must make sure that the relationship bears fruit for both individuals.

       Navigating the corporate world can be a tough climate professionally but finding an outstanding mentor can make a world of difference. Some characteristics of a good mentor include a person that is professional and kind; yet having unwavering and high expectations of your success. In addition the potential mentor should have and be able to maintain a gentle approach, having an incredible work ethic as well as strong values. It is not uncommon to find a potential mentor that is still pursuing his or her dreams and goals; in fact this is how you can mutually help one another from mentor to mentee.

     Here are a few steps to realizing and finding a perfectly matched mentor and optimizing the relationship so that both mentor and mentee can cultivate and advance one another.

1) Decide whether you want a Mentor or a Coach- A true mentor may be difficult to find; however it’s not impossible. If you have a Mentor in mind, start by building a relationship—similar to the way you would with anyone else. Don’t lead with “Will you be my mentor?” (That’s the equivalent of asking someone to marry you on the first date.) Instead, get to know them. Look for opportunities to be generous. Start small and see where it goes. If you are willing to pay for a mentor, a coach is another great option. While you may think you can’t afford one, I would challenge you to investigate it before dismissing it. If a coach helps you seize one opportunity, optimize your productivity, or avoid one fatal mistake, it will pay for itself many times over.

2) Show Vulnerability- Allow your mentor to see your best and worst. Without openness, your mentor won't be able to help you. Being open shows you are ready to learn things you didn’t expect.

3) Invest in yourself- Spend time taking courses and attending conferences. You will gain in-depth instruction that will help you in transforming more quickly. Podcasts and blogs offer a wealth of information on almost any subject for free. And remember there is no greater value than that of a relevant and well written book.

4) Show Gratitude and Respect- A sense of entitlement is not an attractive quality for a person to have. In realizing this, please know that someone willing to help you for no material gain is seldom and should be cherished. Find ways to give back. Celebrate their achievements and milestones, encourage them, and continually esteem and remind them that you are grateful for their guidance.

(Luke 16:10). Until you have taken advantage of mentoring , you are probably cheating yourself by not doing what you can to learn and grow more substantially .

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