How to Cultivate Relationships and Find A Mentor

Mentors are very valuable to have. They typically accelerate your path by providing you with information and connections that you couldn’t garner on your own (in a short amount of time). A lot of people wonder where to find mentors and what to do to officially become a mentee. For most the answer is simple…

Cultivate the relationships you already have.

Who do you already know with experience in your area of interest? You don’t have to search far, simply tweak the type of relationships that you already have. 

Sometimes, just by showing interest in the knowledge and experience someone has, they become willing to share information. Share your need for guidance and see what they say. Most people (time permitting) are willing to help. And if they don’t have the time, they usually pass you along to someone who does. And that’s the key—all great mentors open doors. They won’t have all your answers all the time, but they will put you in contact with the people who do. It’s important to know that you don’t always have to work for someone in order for them to impart their knowledge to you. Most mentors simply want to know that you respect their time and their knowledge. 

Other times you’ll have to work harder to cultivate the relationship (particularly with someone you don’t know as well). And nothings wrong with hard work. The key is to always come prepared. If you want someone to mentor you, show them the project/area you want to be mentored on. Never go to them empty handed. And any time they give you advice be sure to put it in use and show them exactly what you’ve been working on. Once they see that you value their time and knowledge, they will be far more likely to continue working with you.