I am the youngest of three kids. When I was really little, I disliked it because I was considered the baby of the family. As I got older, I realized I had a unique opportunity—to watch my older siblings make mistakes or solve problems. All of those mentor moments helped me make fewer mistakes.
Children learn best by watching others. Adults can also benefit from learning by example. All we need is the right teacher or mentor.
When it comes to finding a mentor, we need to determine what areas of our lives need help. Are we looking for help with school? Are we considering a new job? Are we questioning our purpose in life or how we can be a better us?
These are the main areas of mentorship, but they can overlap.
An academic mentor is a positive role model of a successful student, often enrolled at the same institution, that encourages good study habits, note-taking, and active listening. They offer support and encouragement in student life activities and classes. They help the students become independent thinkers for that mentee’s success.
A career mentor shares professional knowledge and developmental skills to help someone achieve their personal career goals. This adviser or coach offers advice, provide support and answer questions. They can also share their expertise in the field and connect mentees to industry leaders and trends.
Personal Growth & Development
A personal growth mentor helps in areas of life such as health, spirituality, and relationships. Like the others, they offer guidance to improve ourselves in those areas. They encourage us to develop positive life skills and to have realistic and healthy self-esteem. They can be coaches, trainers, clergy, or therapists, to name a few. Even our parents and friends can be great mentors.
Once we’ve determined what we want to improve, finding a good mentor comes down to looking at a few characteristics. They should be compatible with our personality and field of interests, diverse in thought, trusting, and have experience in the area we need help.
Having the right teacher won’t ensure our success. We have to be good students. We need to respect our mentor’s time, be open to their suggestions and applying them, and be active and engaged in the mentor-mentee relationship. Whether we paid for professional assistance or need help from a friend, we won’t see success if we don’t give it our best shot.
We spend a lifetime learning; we are never too old. So, even if we don’t have a mentor, we can find advice and solutions around us and in books. We also need to remember that others will be looking at us as role models, so we should always make sure that our actions and words are worth sharing.