3 things to look for in a good mentor

All of us can get caught up in the 9-to-5 every now and then and as a result, we lose focus of bigger career goals. A mentor can help you refocus your attention and keep you grounded so that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. 

One of the best ways to develop your career is to learn from people who have already achieved success. A good mentor helps you to connect with the right people and plot your future career plans.

Most of us know that having a mentor can be a powerful thing in our careers, but it’s now always easy to know what qualities to look out for. That’s why we’ve curated the three most important questions to answer when you’re on the lookout for a coach or mentor to guide you in your career.

Do you admire your mentor?

If there’s something you admire about a person in your professional environment, it’s often a sign of what you’d like to see more of in your own career. Don’t underestimate the power of admiration and ask yourself this question before you approach a potential mentor or coach.

This also means that said mentor should have an expertise or deep knowledge in the space you already work in or want to work in. This commonality will not only help you to understand each other professionally, it’s also often key to keeping the relationship going strong in the future.

Can you be honest and transparent?

You want to feel comfortable enough with your mentor to be open about what you need. If you want real advice and tips about moving forward in your career, you need to feel like you can be honest. Often, feeling comfortable is down to how good of a listener the person on the opposite side of you is.

Look out for mentors who do not actively listen to what you say or are easily distracted when you get together. You want to work with someone who is enthusiastic about mentoring you and has an eagerness to invest in others and pave the way for them to learn and grow.

Does your mentor challenge you?

A good mentor should challenge you, push back at times or even offer a different perspective or way of thinking. This helps to broaden your view on things and nudge you away from your comfort zone. Growth and comfort often do not gel well together, so you will want someone who recognises this.

Don’t forget that you can have a variety of mentors. You could have a mentor that helps you with growing executive presence, while another is the best at advising you on becoming more resilient at work. You can have as many mentors as you want at the same time. In fact, this approach is more realistic than having one career guru who guides you through your working life forever.

Beyond the points stated above, we all have our own unique ideas of what makes a good mentor. What are the key personal qualities you look out for when building a relationship with a potential mentor? Tweet us your thoughts!


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