In the world of podcasting, influencing, and content creation especially, but in really any career out there, a relationship with a mentor is one of the most valuable connections you can make.  No matter your age or goals, a mentor can help you thrive through all life has to throw at you! 

Though not everyone needs a mentor and mentee relationship to succeed, it can definitely level up your game.Just look at all the successful people who have had great mentors: J.J. Abrams had Steven Spielberg. Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs. P. Diddy had Ray Dalio. The list seriously goes on and on. Sounds pretty promising, right?

So, today, we’re discussing all things mentors! We’re a big fan of mentoring around here, and we know how it can be a big part of realizing your full potential. If you’re curious about what a mentor is and how they can help, we’ve got the deets for you below:

How To Find A Mentor 

Finding a mentor can be an important part of your personal and professional growth. With a great mentor in your corner, the possibilities are limitless. And, if you struggle with mental health or that dreaded imposter syndrome, a mentor can be just the support you need to overcome these struggles and grow your self-confidence.

If you’re not sure if you need a mentor yet or how you’d even go about finding one, don’t sweat it! In this post we’re breaking down what a mentor is, why you need one, and how to find one perfect for your goals! 

what is a mentor

What Is A Mentor?

A mentor is someone you respect that can give you great advice and counsel on day-to-day challenges and big decisions. They should keep you accountable and encourage you every step of the way while simultaneously supporting you through professional or personal development.

It’s important to note that a mentor is NOT a sponsor. A sponsor is someone that helps you with professional networking and promotion. We can talk about that some other time! But, today, our focus is on mentors who guide you through life’s biggest tests. 

why you need a mentor

Why You Need A Mentor:

+ Encourages and supports you when things get tough

+ Consults with you on big decisions

+ Delivers advice on day-to-day struggles and big conflicts

+ Develops your skills 

+ Pushes you out of your comfort zone

+ Keeps you accountable to achieve your goals

+ Gives you feedback and criticism for personal growth

+ Supports your mental and emotional needs

+ Reminds you that you always have someone in your corner

how to find a great mentor

How To Find A Great Mentor

Consider your personal and professional goals.

Before you find a mentor, you need to understand your major life aspirations. Some mentors will be great at mentoring relationships and personal needs. Others will use their expertise to drive you forward in your career. So, you’ll need to know what goals you want to tackle before finding a mentor.  

Take some time to consider your goals and where you need help. To understand why and how to set goals for a mentoring situation, check out this episode of Him & Her called “How To achieve Your Goals, Enjoy Success, Strive For More, & Hold Yourself Accountable, All While Avoiding Burnout.” (And, don’t forget to listen to Part 2 as well!) 

Ask yourself how your mentor will help you reach your goals.

Once you know your goals, ask yourself what you truly need a mentor to do for you. Would you like your mentor to help keep you accountable? To help you make big decisions? Or, to help talk you through anxiety and imposter syndrome? Determine exactly what you’d like them to do, so your expectations can be super clear from the beginning. 

Also consider what type of commitment you are asking for from your mentor. Is it a quick daily conversation? A call once a week? Or, a longer meeting once per month? What type of relationship do you hope to have?

Jot down the qualities you want in a mentor.

A good mentor should be a role model. They should be someone you genuinely look up to and respect. If you don’t, you simply won’t value their advice and apply their feedback. So, jot down all of your ideal qualities for a mentor. This will make the hunt for the best mentor much easier!

Consider potential mentors in your life.

Now that you have a good idea of the qualities you want your mentor to have, it’s time to start listing potential mentors. There are lots of places to find them! Just to name a few – you can consider work colleagues, friends of friends, and family members.

But also consider your hobbies and lifestyle. Whether you spend time at book clubs, church events, gyms, or any other public location, there are plenty of people in your sphere that could be potential mentors if they have the availability. List out anyone and everyone who might be willing to help and fits your criteria. While you’re thinking, listen to this episode of Him & Her for more tips on finding mentors! 

Prepare for your mentor’s constructive criticism and feedback.

An effective mentor will offer advice and constructive criticism—and, we all know that sometimes the truth hurts. Start preparing your mind to take feedback with grace. Grace for yourself and your mentor! Remember, your mentor is on your team, and isn’t looking to be judgemental. They just want to help you become the best version of yourself.

Select possible mentors and reach out.

Once you’re ready, reach out to your potential mentors by phone or social media and have an initial conversation. Be flexible, don’t get your hopes up, and be sure to give them time to decide. Remember – mentoring is hard work for both the mentor and the mentee. Once a few have shown interest, make your final decision. 

Listen to your mentor and apply their advice.

The mentor/mentee relationship is a beautiful one, but it only works if you apply their advice. Don’t forget how much you respect this person and value their expertise. When they give you feedback, take it! This will ensure you see the progress you really want! 

Stay focused, and don’t get discouraged if you can’t find a mentor.

When you find a mentor, you don’t want to bug them 24/7. However, you do want to stay focused on their guidance. To do this, immerse yourself into personal development content like podcasts to keep your mindset on your growth. (Listen to the episode of Scheananigans titled “The Mindset Mentor.” for more on that.)

And, if you can’t find a mentor that suits your criteria, podcasts can function much like a mentor! A good podcast host will guide you, support you, and give you vital wisdom to make big decisions and tackle tough topics. Though it’s a little less personal, sometimes you can even find a podcast host and audience you connect with on a deeper level. More than you would a standard mentor! 

So, whether you want one of Dear Media’s thought leaders to be your spirit guide through what life has ahead or you want to go the traditional mentor route, here are some great podcasts. These shows can help you with anything and everything, including mental health issues, relationships struggles, leadership skill development, parenting woes, and career path challenges. Here are some great ones to get you hooked:

+ Dear Gabby – Mental Health 

+ Going Mental – Mental Health 

+ Him & Her – Personal Development

+ The Papaya Podcast – Personal Development

+ Mind. Body. No Soul. – Wellness

+ Pursuit of Wellness – Wellness

+ Relationsh*t – Relationships

+ We Met at Acme – Relationships 

+ The Career Contessa Podcast – Professional Development

+ The Dream Bigger Podcast – Professional Development

Track your progress. 

As you work with your mentor to achieve your goals, track your progress. This will be motivating to you and remind you how valuable your mentor is! (And, it’ll remind you that you’re a straight-up ROCKSTAR.) Keep your eye on what you want to become and remember you have the support you need to get there!

Thank your mentor for all they do.

A great mentor deserves gratitude. Remember to be thankful, document your gratitude, and express your thanks to your mentor. This is good practice for your mental health, and it’ll make your mentor feel super appreciated and respected. 

Establishing a relationship with a mentor is one of the best things you can do for your personal growth. 

If you’re ready to take your professional or personal development to the next level, find a great mentor! We hope you’ve been able to determine if a mentor is right for you, or if the guidance of some expert podcasters is all you need to make bigger strides toward all your goals. Either way, we wish you the best of luck!  

For more great podcasts, check out Dear Media’s podcast directory. And, for additional info on how to become the best version of yourself, browse our blog for the latest wisdom and advice from the podcasts hosts and thought leaders of the Dear Media community!