Mentors: Why and How to Find One
Working with mentors has been proven beneficial for a long time now. In fact, it’s common practice to assign a mentor to new employees in a company to make sure that they get proper guidance and to maximize their efficiency. Unfortunately, if you’re a freelancer or virtual employee, working with a mentor is not really the norm.
For many VAs and freelancers doing online work, it’s normal to be left to their own devices. In fact, lots of VAs had to discover everything about how the industry works for themselves because mentors weren’t automatically assigned to them. But mentorship is actually pretty important for VAs who are just starting out or those looking for better career opportunities. A good mentor can help you make the best decisions to further your career and avoid any pitfalls that lots of inexperienced VAs fall for. A mentor can be your lifelong friend and someone you can always turn to for advice, even if your actual mentorship days are over.
Now that you know how a mentor can benefit you and your career, how do you go about finding one? Here are some ideas to help you out.
Turn to social media.
Who said social media is just for posting photos and updates of your daily life? You can try searching Twitter or LinkedIn for a mentor. Using the right keywords, you can easily find a mentor that matches your needs. Finding out if they are reputable is also pretty easy because they have public profiles and comments from other professionals that you can access.
Check out mentoring websites.
There are so many websites and online programs these days that solely focus on helping mentees find mentors and vice versa. A quick Google search of “find a mentor” can lead you to several websites that will help you achieve your goal. Don’t forget to do a background check on the websites before signing up to make sure that you’re using the best platform. Once you’ve signed up, you can find mentors for free or at a small cost.
Apply at a reputable VA platform.
Websites like 20Four7VA provide their virtual assistants with a free initial training program and ongoing support from trainers and fellow VAs. It’s like having a large pool of mentors at your disposal should you need any sort of advice.
Attend networking events.
Professional networking events aren’t just for reaching potential clients and expanding your network, they are perfect for finding a mentor too. The good thing about finding a mentor at a networking event is that you get to meet them and talk to them face-to-face. This will allow you to gauge if your personalities will help you form a good mentee-mentor relationship.
Finding a mentor is pretty easy these days because you have a lot of options, but it’s only the first part. To have a successful mentorship, you have to put effort into it. You need to make sure that you listen to your mentor and that you communicate with them as much as you can. After all, like in anything else, neglecting your mentor will lead to a poor professional relationship.