How To Find and Work With the Right Mentor

Why is it so hard to initiate a mentoring relationship?

Sometimes knowing the right person and having access to people who can mentor you can be difficult to find. Sometimes initiating the conversation can be awkward; it can be intimidating to make yourself vulnerable to someone further along than you. And sometimes we just don’t know where to start.

Thanks to technology, mentoring comes in many forms. We can find mentorship through social media by following our favorite Youtube person or stalking, I mean researching people who we admire and inspire us. Then we have mentoring relationships that involve actually sitting down with someone on a consistent basis through personalized conversations and working towards real, tangible goals. Today, we’re discussing how to build a relationship with a mentor your trust.

Finding a mentor takes time and intention to make sure you are picking the right one. Here are the ways I recommend to align with the best one:

  1. The best places to look for mentors are: within your company’s leadership chain, local chamber of commerce and through networking events, workshops or conferences. Get into the practice of introducing yourself to speakers at events.

  2. Follow up via email or LinkedIn. This lets the person know you are serious about continuing the conversation.

  3. Share your goals and exactly what you’re working on. This helps the person know how they can help you.

  4. Do your research about the mentor. Know their background and how it fits into your goals. Reflect what you’ve learned back to them. This helps them know you are paying attention and have done your HW.

  5. Email to initiate a conversation about mentoring. Ask to meet them in person by treating them to lunch or coffee. If meeting in person is not possible, speak by phone or video.

Below is the email I used to initiate the conversation with my mentor:

[...] I am inspired by your work, the story of building your empire, and philanthropic pursuits.

I want to explore a conversation with you around mentorship. I think of you as someone who embodies powerful leadership and business acumen. I am sure there is much I can learn from you. If there is an opportunity to be your mentee and learn from you, I wholeheartedly welcome the conversation. I understand your busy as well so no worries if now is not the right time.

Please do let me know your thoughts I look forward to hearing from you. All the best, - Ariane

This email effectively help me connect and work with the woman whom I so eagerly wanted to learn from and helped me learn how to be a better business woman and build more confidence.

Looking for a mentor doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require commitment. The mentoring relationship is a very rewarding one. Through it you gain not only confidence and direction in your career but sometimes true friendship with someone who is invested in your success.

The Mentor Circle was created for you to succeed. Designed for women of color who want to learn from each other. The way towards success, is if we rise up together.

Applications are open, enroll to The Mentors Circle today!