Picture yourself at 2 AM, searching through hundreds of YouTube videos and related links for the most sensible answers to your life questions. The truth is that you won't find what you're looking for. No online tutorial can give you what a real life mentor can offer. Online tutorials may be helpful, but that mentor-mentee relationship sets you up for a life long relationship that will keep you learning.
Now, I know you’re thinking, 'how do I find that one mentor for everything in my life?' Instead of expecting to learn everything from one person, figure out how to take away a life lesson from everyone. Don’t limit yourself to one mentor. I have some key mentors that will flip your crafty vision board into a reality!
Your nerves may get the best of you when it comes to attending networking events or even talking to accomplished people during a regular day. Take a deep breath and find someone who can teach you the ropes of connecting with new people. Your mentors network may end up being your most valuable group of contacts. And just because this may be true, don’t allow your mentor to do all of the work, just see them as an example to follow. You can meet this mentor at a coffee shop, on the train, at a professional panel event for your major, and even the supervisor of your internship program. Build your own excel sheet and begin to enter the names, contact information and position of every person you interact with on a professional level. Now that’s a great key to networking!
As much as we may not always enjoy it, sometimes we need that extra push to work better and smarter. When you’re working towards a goal, there is always another person who may be working twice as hard as you. You’re never going to be done creating the best you. Having a mentor that will challenge you will teach you how to ask and answer important questions of why you’re doing something, how you are going to effectively complete the job and what tools you need to do so. You may be surprised, but the challenger is usually right in your family as a older sibling or cousin. Don’t underestimate the help they can give you!
It’s like having someone sit front row at every major milestone in your life. The path to be successful may not have you waking up with a smile on your face every day. Having a mentor that is your personal cheerleader will show you that quitting in certain circumstances is not an option. My personal ally is my advisor in college. No matter what obstacles I face, she is always there to build me up and cheer me on so that I don’t become stagnant. They know that you’re capable of winning and want you to understand that you were born to lead and succeed. The obstacles you will overcome are really the key to thriving. Now that should put a smile on your face, every morning!
When you have an idea, this is the mentor you want to run it by. They are creative, can think quickly on their feet, and will give you a unique perspective. If you in an owner of an organization or business that is constantly feeding off creative juices, ask them to tag along or shadow! Feel free to dream big and look at the bigger picture. Some times we think so critically about everything, but sitting back to think of your goals as a whole can really take you far. Looking for a collective of people to call mentors can be hard sometimes, but don’t get discouraged. Use your resources in your major; ask graduates in your field what organizations they joined post grad, and take pride in a simple google search. There are endless opportunities for you to network. Lets find some trifecta leaders who aren’t just going to tell us what to do, but who have gone through it themselves and can give the best advice for our own situation!