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Five tips to finding a mentor

Five tips to finding a mentor

Whether you’re just getting your career started, establishing yourself in your chosen industry or you may already be an experienced professional, identifying and benefitting from a mentor will help you achieve your career goals and long-term aspirations.

Thembelihle Lephoko from beauty brand Clere Radiance says she’s benefitted from the wisdom and guidance of mentors in her career, and it’s something she recommends to all professional women.

Here are her top five tips for finding a mentor:

Define what you’re looking for

Having a clear idea of what you’re expecting from a prospective mentor will clear up any confusion later in the process. A mentor traditionally helps to set goals, offers advice and life lessons, as well as introduces you to their network so that they might further assist with your career.

Don’t sweat it

You’re likely to be rejected a couple of times in the process – this is the norm. Not everyone will be a perfect match or have the time and energy to invest in a mentee.  Roll with the punches and move forward – and don’t forget to thank them for their time.

Get yourself out there

Make a list of events within the industry that you’re operating in. Attend as many of these as you can – they are great networking opportunities. Putting yourself out there might feel uncomfortable – but it’s a sure-fire way to get noticed, and importantly – to identify a possible mentor.

Check yourself

Submitting your request for mentorship is as important as submitting your CV to a prospective employer. You need to present yourself in a way that will appeal to the person, as ultimately, they will be investing their time and expertise in you. They are not going to want to work with someone who has shoddy spelling or a rude email tone.

Know as much as you can

Put the hours into researching your potential mentor. Know as much as you can about the person and what he or she has done over the course of their career. It’s important when identifying a mentor that you’re aware of their achievements, failures and aspirations.  It’s even more important you communicate this groundwork to your potential mentor, as it further shows your interest and enthusiasm to work with them.

Lephoko says it’s a process to not only identify suitable candidates but also contact them and finally establish a relationship. “It may be a time-consuming investment, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run – a mentor can shape your career and play an integral role in your future success.”


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