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Find a Mentor, Get Ahead of the Game

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

You're in pursuit of a career or building a business? Why not boost yourself with the benefits of a mentor? A guide on why you should consider getting a mentor and how to find one.

Women sitting in a café and working
Photo: Cowomen

Let's be real – everyone feels a bit lost at the start of a big project. No matter if it's in pursuit of a career or the start of your own business. We all have to figure out how to do things the right way. How to get the first clients, how to negotiate and how to align this big goal with the rest of our lives. No wonder we're overwhelmed in this kind of situation – and talking to a person who has gone through all of it can be a huge relief. That's where mentors come in.

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)

Mentorship is a bit like counselling – though it's not particularly counselling but something similar. Mentors share knowledge, experience and information it would take years to gain oneself. They're like a watering can supporting and watering one's professional and personal growth. Even big thinkers like scientist Isaac Newton relied on mentors to get ahead of everyone else. As the famous scientist Isaac Newton once put it: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

👩🏾‍💼 What is a mentor, really?

Alright. Before we get into the exact reasons why you should get a mentor for yourself, let's look at what a mentor is in the first place. Generally speaking, a mentor is an experienced expert who provides guidance for your professional (and personal) career. A good mentor will act as an advisor, expert, motivator and sometimes even friend. She or he will have experience in the field you're trying to get into and be able to help you with the major challenges that arise as part of the process.

Though, why would someone become a mentor? After all, it's (mostly) not paid and the benefits clearly lie on one side. That may be true – but one shouldn't forget that mentors also gain something from their mentorship. They get the possibility to shape the experts of the future and leave a lasting impact. Of course, a tiny fragment of goodwill is always part of the reason. But most mentors will be happy to help and feel honoured for being contacted.

To put it in a nutshell, a mentor is – at best – a successful person in your particular field who can give you exclusive insights into the industry and help you with building whatever empire you're currently working on.

🔍 Five reasons to find yourself a mentor asap

If we didn't already convince you to get a mentor, the following five reasons definitely should: What benefits does a mentor provide?

1. A mentor will act as your professional coach

Everyone knows the term "coaching" from sports. Mentors practically do the same thing in a professional sense – though, maybe not in the intensity we're used to from sports. Nonetheless, mentors will act as some sort of supporter helping you to become better and stronger in every sense.

2. Mentors accompany you

Starting a business or pursuing a career can be a lonely path. People come and go. Mentors stay. They will accompany you from the start of your career until you're on your own feed. And even then, they might stay in your life as trusted advisors and friends.

3. Mentors push you to go further

We often don't realise it – but external motivation can make us do things we could've never imagined. In part, that's what mentors do. They create this kind of motivation. They will look at a situation from the outside, evaluate what could work and motivate you to put in that extra hour of work to get ahead of everyone else.

4. With mentors, you can talk about all the unique stressors in your life

Most of us have experienced it in some way: When you're going through a unique hardship in your life to which neither your friends nor your partner can relate, you feel a bit lost. For example, when you struggle with initially financing your startup-idea while all of your close persons work in a corporate environment. They simply won't be able to fully grasp your problem – because how should they know?

Women sitting at a table and talking
Mentors can unravel completely new perspectives. Photo: Toa Heftiba

Mentors can take up the role of the relatable person you wish for and help you solve the problem with experience and advice.

5. Mentors have an outside view

Feedback from a third person can do wonders – and mentors provide exactly that. When you tell them about a problem, they will look at it from an outside perspective you mightn't have considered. Possibly, this perspective is just what you need in order to solve your problem.

🤷🏼‍♀️ How to look for a mentor though?

Now, that we cleared up any doubts about mentorship, how can you find one? This might be another aspect causing a lot of confusion. As mentioned earlier, a mentor is ideally an expert in the field you're trying to get into. Maybe, you've already a potential mentor.

Starting from zero, there are several options to find a mentor: Either you look people up yourself or you rely on a network of mentors like the female factor. Both paths will lead you to your goal.

Once you've found this person, all you have to do is hit them up via e-mail or call them – and if everything works out, you go for a coffee.

Option one, finding a mentor yourself sounds harder than it is. Though, indeed, it's difficult to find a suitable person when starting from nowhere. But once you've found this person, all you have to do is hit them up via e-mail or call them – and if everything works out, you go for a coffee. You could state that you admire her or his achievements and you want to know how they approached a certain problem. In most cases, they'll agree. Honestly, Who wouldn't? In a very far-fetched sense, it's like dating in a professional way. At best, you'll meet for another coffee a few weeks after the first meeting – and boom, you just got yourself a mentor. And even if you don't meet another time, you just got tons of helpful information for free.

Woman sitting at laptop in coworking space
Sometimes, a simple e-mail is all that's needed for something to star.

If option one sounds very complicated to you (which it is) – option two might be the better decision. There are tons of professional networks out in the world and a lot of them focus on mentorship. For example, the female factor has an exclusive mentorship program for ambitious women. There are tons of other possibilities as well – I even know some universities which offer alumni-mentorship-programs. Just look up some communities in your field and you might find exactly what you need.

🚀 What are you waiting for?

Eventually, mentors might be the single most powerful factor of success in today's professional world. They give you access to years of experience which can get you miles ahead. Moreover, they'll advise, motivate and help you become an overall better human. A good mentor could be the hidden backbone you might just need.

Are you motivated to find a mentor yourself? Check out our mentorship program at the female factor. As a member of the community, you get access to 150+ world-class mentors who will advance your life in every way. Furthermore, we offer exclusive masterclasses to further advance your skills. Learn more and join us today.

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