How to Find a Mentor and Be a Mentee

How to Find a Mentor and Be a Mentee

I was sitting on the couch drinking a beer after a long day of work when I realized something: it's okay to ask for help.

I decided I was going to find a mentor. But then I realized I don't know how to find a mentor. But that's okay, I'm still qualified to write this post.

1. Find the person whose life you want. Unfortunately you can't just ask anyone to be your mentor. That would make this whole process a lot easier. Instead find a person who has the professional life that you aspire to. And no, a cat doesn't count.

2. Study that person. Look at their blog. Examine their Twitter and Facebook. Get to know them from a distance. Try to imagine what it will be like to stare into their eyes and get professional advice. 

3. Informal Chat. Before you commit to a mentor/mentee relationship, which is totally serious, ask the mentor out for a chat. Talk about the weather. Don't be too direct. Don't look too needy. If you're worn a shirt that says "Mentee" make sure you don't give them a shirt that says "Mentor." This doesn't work. Apparently. 

4. Re-evaluate. How did you feel after the meeting? Did you have butterflies in your stomach? Did you feel uplifted? Encouraged? Did they curl up in your lap and sleep? Again, a cat cannot be your mentor.

5. Follow up after the meeting. Send a text. Say, Hey, I had a really fun time. I hope we can take this further. They'll know what you meant.

6. Be consistent. If they've agreed to give you occasional advice and life mentorship and provide you the secrets to success, don't be shy. Don't bother them too much but don't be afraid to reach out when you have serious questions.

7. Commit. Have mentor/mentee ceremony, where you proclaim that you will be mentor/mentee until one of you decides it's not working. Without this kind of comittment, it's going to be easy to just give up.

8. Get Feedback. When they give you serious or challenging feedback, don't run away. Stay with it. This is where growth happens. Unless they've just said something really unnecessarily mean to you. Then screw them.

9. Check for Red Flags. At this point, you should have noticed any red flags, but be on the lookout. Do they seem really excited to see you but then fall asleep in the next room? Again, don't pick a cat as mentor.

10. Say Thank You. Make sure you thank your mentor. They could be spending time with their family or just playing games on their phone but instead they're talking to you. Be grateful. I mean, if I ever get to this step I think you should theoretically be grateful. I'll let you know when I get there.