Finding a Professional Mentor

By Matthew Lindsey- Entrepreneur & Las Vegas Young Professionals Marketing Chair

Many revered business leaders attribute their successes to the guidance and leadership of a mentor. Mentors can provide their mentees with valuable insights on the tricks of the trade, industry challenges, and the path to success.

Before you find a mentor who’s right for you, remember that your mentor is not your personal life coach. You are an apprentice and they are the master of their industry. Mentorships hinge on a person’s adaptability to personal development and growth. Mentors have an opportunity to empower and lead by example and they can only do that if their mentee is willing to grow.

DO YOUR RESEARCH When asking someone to be a mentor, the first thing to do is research. Make sure the mentor you choose is a good fit for your goals. Time is something that neither you nor your mentor want to waste, so knowing what you want is going to be your key priority.

MAKE THE ASK Making the ask can be an intimidating experience. When approaching your prospective mentor, tell them that their time is valuable and that you will honor their investment in your success. You can also offer your services for real world examples or hands-on training. Bringing value in the form of positive feedback, social media advice or industry trend-spotting will be appreciated by a mentor as well. CRUSH YOUR GOALS After they’ve accepted the mentorship, you can start defining goals and crushing them– together. Nothing shows your mentor that you are a good apprentice more than progress. It’s the greatest compliment of their investment in you.

FIND A MENTOR
There are many places to find mentors, including your job, a professional networking group in which you’re involved or even on LinkedIn’s ͞Career Advice͟ section. SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors, is a great resource for those in niche industries. Additionally, VYP has an Emerging Young Professionals (EYP) Outreach Committee that is focused on engaging and mentoring graduating students, entrepreneurs, and other young professionals. VYP is working with community partners to start a new mentorship program. If you’re interested in connecting with a mentor, contact eyp@vegasyp.com.

As a young professional, it is imperative to learn from the successes of predecessors while simultaneously understanding the importance of adaptability. The mentor-mentee relationship opens a door for creative expression and is meant to serve as a birthplace of inspiration, innovation, professional growth and oftentimes, a lifelong connection.