Having someone who can guide you through the ups and downs of your career and life sounds like a blessing, doesn’t it? This is what a good mentor can do for you. Wonder why we suggest finding a good mentor?
Imagine this: when you were in school, deciding what subjects to take, someone could have helped you by shortlisting a subject or course that would work best for you. Or perhaps, as an employee, searching for a new job or trying to figure out if your current job role is the right call, how easy would it have been if you could ask someone how they moved past that hurdle? That would have been helpful, right?
Now that you have come out of that situation, don’t you think you can share your experience and help someone else in a similar situation as you were a few months or years ago?
This is exactly what a mentor can do for you.
Why Is Finding a Good Mentor Difficult?
Because it is difficult to find someone who can share reliable information and also understand your struggle.
There is no better explanation for why finding a good mentor is difficult than stating the fact that the innumerable mentors available online as well as offline aren’t actually good because their mentoring style includes sharing information that worked for them without considering your individual situation. Finding a mentor is easy but when you start finding someone who will offer the best advice and understand you as well, it starts getting difficult.
Mentoring someone is a huge responsibility. As a mentor, one is responsible for making the mentee understand what is working for them and what isn’t. With that information, they then have to guide the mentee in a direction that will lead them to a destination that either the mentee is interested in or the mentor believes is good for the said mentee. Either way, they will be considered responsible for the future of the mentee.
How to Find a Good Mentor Who Is Right for You?
You can find some good mentors in your life as well as online, you just need to find one who will be right for you. For that, there are a few things that you can look for in a mentor.
Finding a good mentor starts with finding someone who is in the same area or field that you are interested in. For instance, a singer should be finding a mentor who is a good, successful singer. You need to find someone who has relevant experience. Someone who is doing something you wish to do or is a level or two above you can be a great mentor for you. They must have started from your level and have reached that height, they can share their experience and knowledge they gained over time with you.
Friendlier, the Better
You will be in touch with your mentor all the time, asking questions, sharing experiences, and learning through their experience and guidance, you will need someone who is friendly with you so that you don’t hesitate to contact them. Look for someone who doesn’t get frustrated easily and is ready to help and repeat, if need be.
A mentor’s job is not only to give you advice or share their experience, they need to understand your situation and personality as well. For that, they have to be a good listener.
Even when you are following their path, there are going to be a lot of things that are going to work differently for you. The reason is, that you are a different person, how you think, react, or behave in certain situations can be different, and that is most certainly going to affect your journey. Moreover, as already mentioned, things that worked for others or your mentor may not be right for you or your situation and only a good listener will be able to analyse what is going to work better for you.
With good listening skills, they can know you better and suggest something that will work specifically for you.
A mentor is not only a guide but a motivator as well. They will be helping you out in understanding the path towards your destination better and push you to achieve it. Even as someone above your level, they will constantly have to motivate you by both, inspiring you through their own work and experience as well as celebrating your achievements, no matter how little they may be.
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, a mentor does not have to know everything. They may not have everything sorted out and that is fine.
In fact, it is better if they don’t have everything sorted out because that means they are learning as well and their knowledge and opinion will not be stagnant.
A mentor has to be anything like you but just a level or two above you. Someone you can learn from, bond with, talk to, and get honest feedback from.
Why Do You Need a Mentor?
Just like we have finally learnt that asking for help or advice doesn’t mean we are small or weak, we now need to realise that having a mentor is important for each one of us. Be it for our career growth or personal development, we need someone we can take advice from or look up to in order to understand where exactly we are heading.
Here are a few reasons why you need (and should have) a mentor:
- Figuring things out on your own is exciting but time-consuming.
- It is good to have another point of view when your own is a little blurry.
- Most of the time we know our destination but not the path that can lead us to that, a mentor can help you find that path.
- To know how someone was able to do something, and you can too, is encouraging.
- You can talk to someone who will understand because they know where you are coming from, and that is rare (unfortunately).
Is Teacher and Mentor the Same Thing?
A mentor is like a teacher, but better. Don’t get us wrong, teachers can teach you, suggest what career path to pick, and help you augment your personality, knowledge, and skillset but they cannot introduce you to the hurdles your career path may have.
They may or may not understand your point of view, especially if they haven’t been in your situation themselves.
A mentor is someone who is further down YOUR selected path. The point where you are standing in life today, they were there once and they can tell you how things are going to be in the near future.
Definition of a ‘Good Mentor’
It is very easy to find someone who is willing to share their thoughts, experiences and expertise with you. Especially in Indian society, people are ready to give unsolicited advice and opinions as well. But does that mean they can be your mentors?
- For someone to be a good mentor, one of the most important qualities has to be empathy. They should be willing to listen to you. They should be ready to understand where you are coming from and how you might be feeling at a given point in time.
- A good mentor will not suggest you do something that has benefited them, they will customise their advice according to your personality, lifestyle, situation, and requirement.
- Most importantly, a good mentor will never say if something has worked for them, it will definitely work for you. They will help you analyse the situation, share their experience and thoughts, and push you in the right direction. It may or may not be the exact route they followed. And even you, as a mentee, need to understand that things that worked for them may not work for you for a myriad of reasons.
Finding a good mentor will not be difficult for you if you have a clear idea of what you expect from your mentor. You can have a mentor for your career, education, life, personality, and even your side hustle. Mentors for side hustles like content writing, YouTubing, and starting an online business are so easily available online and most of them have their own experiences that you can relate to.
If you are looking for a mentor who can help you start your own business or grow your side hustle, you need to check out the Hustlepost Academy’s “Start and Grow Your Online Business”. Saloni is an amazing mentor who ticks off all the points of a good mentor.
Along with Saloni as your mentor, you will also be getting a personal coach with whom you can collaborate and plan your side hustle journey according to your routine and needs.