Finding a mentor or career coach is not an easy task, there are so many options out there and so many claiming to be coaches or mentors, without much experience. So where do you start? For one, you need to start with yourself. Are you ready to dedicate the time and energy to being mentored/coached? Are you coachable? Do you know what your goals are and how this person can help you achieve them?
Once you’ve decided you are ready and have a plan, you need to start identifying the right person. How can you be sure this person is going to help you succeed? How can you make sure they are qualified? Here are a few tips:
- Check qualifications and experience.
- Ask for details of their professional development and experience related to coaching someone like you. Look at their career and/or life experience and make sure they have had success doing the same for others.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for references.
- Many coaches and mentors will ask former or current clients or people they’ve mentored to provide references and will make those readily available to you. If they cannot point you in the direction of someone they’ve mentored or coached, stay away.
- Make sure they resonate with you.
- Ask yourself if this is someone you would be comfortable with, someone that you can learn from. Remember coaching and mentoring are both built on relationships. Do they seem like a person you can open up to and most importantly, take honest feedback from? If so, then you have found the right person.
Mentorship and Coaching are about empowering others. They need to be willing to listen attentively, guide you and not be afraid to give you honest feedback.
I consider myself lucky to have had a mentor that has been extremely honest, influential and transparent with me. She has taught me some tough lessons that at the time, we’re hard to swallow, but in the end, I learned so much. I worked for her for about 5 years and I even though I never officially asked her to be my mentor, it just happened. She saw something in me that I didn’t see. She was tough on me and I later learned she did it because she knew I could handle it. These are the best mentors – the ones that push you to where you never thought you could go, giving you the confidence you never thought you had. She helped shape me into the professional I am today. Close to 8 years later, we still have a great relationship and I still call her to help me navigate through the many stages of my career. I trust her decisions, more than I trust my own.
In the past few years, I also took up mentoring and coaching and have seen first-hand the impact you have on others when you devote your time to helping them grow. My professional experience and the lessons taught to me by my mentor are the ones I use each day to challenge and empower others. Watching a person develop/grow in their career and gain the confidence in themselves makes it all worthwhile.
If you are looking for a mentor or career coach and are not sure where to start, let’s jump on a call. I can help you identify what you need and how to get started.