Anyone who runs a business is already a mentor. The people who work for you turn to you for advice every day. Networking with Salt Lake’s next generation of leaders is not only smart, but it prevents turnover and builds loyalty. SLC Economic Development Workforce Development Manager Jake Maxwell offers advice for mentees in our latest blog to help your business and employees grow. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.
Where are you in your career and what steps do you need to take to achieve the next level? Are you sticking your neck out, being proactive, seeking more responsibility, and finding yourself in the same spot? Perhaps the answer comes with exposure to a mentor to help elevate you to that next step.
Salt Lake City Business Development interviewed Young Professionals Salt Lake City and, among many other questions and insights, found only 42% of the group had a mentor. There was no correlation to education level or a presumption that the field they were in might be easier to find one. So the question is, “how do I find a mentor”?
The simplest answer is that they are likely already around you. I have seen too much feedback to suggest you approach someone you don’t know, rather, you should support and stand out to those you admire and who can notice your unique attributes and talents. If you don’t admire anyone at work, then maybe you aren’t working at the right place. The search is more often a sort of professional audition. There are some leaders who will join mentor groups and possibly match up to folks interested in an opportunity, but this can be like an arranged marriage and not the most appropriate fit. The best relationship will come organically through chemistry and established exposure to one another and is aligned to your own goals and aspirations. With a blind date mentor, the odds may not be in your favor, but it is still certainly something worth exploring if you know of an opportunity.
Last, do not expect anything from your mentor except wisdom and learning opportunities. A true mentor and leader will provide meaningful opportunity when it makes sense. They may even lend some of their social capital to help you move up in your career, but ultimately it is the skills and insights that will help you sustain your place in the next step of your career. If you put yourself in their shoes, try to stand out as likable, hardworking, and ambitious as they perceive those attributes and you will likely find yourself with an opportunity to formalize the relationship into a mentorship.
If you wish to find a mentor, please reach out and I would love to chat with you about solutions.