Seeking Guidance? Tips From BWBacon To Help You Find A Mentor

Posted on March 10, 2020 by BWBacon. Tagged: Resources for Candidates, For Candidates

Mentors help individuals reach unrealized potential and hit once unreachable heights, according to many industry experts (and our personal experience). You've likely talked with someone about their mentor. Possibly imagine the benefits of having one yourself. Maybe you already have one. If you still need to find a mentor, we hope these tips below can get you started. 

We believe that seeking professional or personal guidance from someone with similar experience can strengthen your skills, inspire you, and diversify your perspective on business, growth, and life.  

We're breaking down how to find a mentor and further foster the relationship. We're highlighting the positive impacts on your learning experiences and development, and how you don't have to have just one mentor!

How To Find A Mentor And Why You Should 

Benefits of Having a Mentor

A Fresh Perspective

Mentors help us gain knowledge and information about life and our careers. When you work with an expert in your field on a personal level, you can tap into their wealth of knowledge and get up to speed faster than most. You'll also gain a unique perspective on career experience, which you can use to improve your future.

Remember, mentorship doesn't have to be one-sided.  Mentors also benefit by improving their leadership skills, developing a growth mindset, and learning from your experiences and ideas.

Constructive Criticism

The mind behind the Star Wars films, George Lucas once said, "Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It's the only way we grow." His sentiment hits home. Mentors help us discover areas in which we can improve. Likely, these areas are less noticeable to us because we're conditioned to look past individual faults, so a mentor can help identify these areas of growth. Gaining constructive criticism from our mentors helps us grow continuously or identify new ways of approaching goals.

Set And Reach Goals 

A good mentor helps you establish reasonable intentions and hold you accountable along the way to reaching them. Without a set strategy of changes or actions to achieve your intentions, they are more wishful thinking than achievable targets. Mentors can help you develop a pathway to honing your intentions and reaching your goals that is adjustable over time, ensuring you can be successful. 

Traits To Seek In A Mentor

One of the most important criteria for your mentor is ensuring they align with your values and goals. If you have someone in mind, think about their accomplishments or how they approach work, is their style something you would like to learn from or do you admire their personal or professional goals?

Also, determine or find an agreement on the boundaries and expectations of your relationship. For example, if you want to gain knowledge from your mentor, establishing what you want to learn from them or what areas you need guidance in can start the relationship off on the right foot.

Here are other traits to seek in your mentors

  • They show a genuine interest in your success
  • Make efforts to help you attain success
  • Aligned with your best interest
  • Help you realize and display your best self
  • Complement you not compete against you
  • Not afraid or threatened by your successes
  • Have humility to reflect on learned lessons, not just success
  • Have availability to invest time in a mentoring relationship

Where To Find A Mentor

The most crucial factor to consider on your quest for a mentor is this — make sure you like them. Find someone with a similar set of strengths and skills you want to emulate. Also, be sure to spend time finding the right fit. Meet and get to know multiple candidates before deciding on the perfect match. 

A good place to start your search is in your office. Your perfect career mentor may be right down the hall. Don't let your future goals hinder asking a boss or colleague to be your mentor. If you develop a solid, trusting relationship, they can help you further your career - even if it's not with them. 

There are dozens of other ways to find mentors today. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Professional networking events
  • Online connection hubs
  • Peers or leaders at work
  • Leaning into your personal network 
  • Industry meetups
  • Volunteer events

Find A Mentor In The Tech Industry 

If you're searching for a mentor in tech, it can seem a bit daunting. According to one expert, "there isn't a well-defined approach to mentorship in the tech industry, and what works for one person isn't necessarily right for everyone else."

A bit different from other industries, tech mentorship typically needs to be a two-way street. You should each bring complementary skillsets to the table and share values and personality traits that help you work together successfully. Focus on raising one another's skills and achievements. 

You can find mentors in the tech industry through many events and resources, including:

  • Tech groups or communities
  • BuiltIn Colorado
  • Hackathons
  • Denver Startup Week
  • Mutual friends in the industry
  • Industry-specific Mentor Finding: Boomtown

We encourage having a mentor, don't be shy! Reach out to your heroes and role models. More likely than not, anyone you ask will be flattered and excited to work with you on reaching your goals.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!