How to Get a Mentor and Help Your Career
Have you ever considered being a mentor or connecting with one?
Studies by Wharton University show that having a mentor can lead to greater career success, including promotions, raises, and increased opportunities. Often, mentees are also able to help mentors by helping them discover new ideas or see their workplace in a different way.
Mentor-mentee relationships can range in formality, time commitment, and impact. However, seeking this type of relationship provides both parties with a great professional development opportunity.
Mentors help Mentees by:
- Providing a voice of guidance
- Easing pressures of new situations
- Assisting in developing new skill sets
- Teaching about a new industry
- Connecting with other industry professionals and building a professional network
- Providing feedback
Mentees help Mentors by
- Improving leadership skills
- Re-energizing their view on their role
- Reminding them how they are making a positive impact
- Strengthening their ability to give feedback
How to Find a Good Match
So how do you find a mentor?
- Find someone you admire. A good way to start is by looking inside or outside of your organization for someone you professionally admire. This can be someone who has a role you would someday like to have, someone who you think is a good leader, or someone who could help you learn a new skill.
- Study them. Study how they act professionally. Decide if they are truly someone you would hope to emulate
- Meet up. Ask your potential mentor if they would like to grab a coffee or go to lunch so you can learn more about what they do. You do not need to go as far as asking someone to be your mentor upon your first meeting. Just come prepared with some casual conversational questions and let the relationship form organically.
- Follow up. If you think they would be a good fit to mentor you, you must follow up. Don’t be afraid of looking overly ambitious. You want them to know that you are serious about learning from them and developing professionally. The “will you be my mentor?” ask can happen at different times depending on the communication styles of the people involved.
- Allow the relationship to evolve. The mentor-mentee relationship looks different on day one than it does on day 100. Getting to know someone and learning from them is a process.
- Commit. Once both parties agree to a mentor-mentee relationship, make sure you commit to meeting regularly. In order for the mentorship to be fulfilling for both parties, engagement is key. Ask for feedback regularly and ask your mentor if they have any goals you may be able to help them achieve.
Considering seeking or becoming a mentor? A person who is a great fit for you may be available right in your organization or within a professional group in which you are a member.
If you have general questions specifically for an insurance industry professional drop a question in our Ask a Pro program. You can ask questions about mentoring, career advice, education, the insurance industry, or internships!