You’ve probably heard about the importance of networking as a career-development tool. Well, there’s a way to take that concept even further. By finding a mentor at work, you improve your ability to drive your professional growth and accelerate your acquisition of new skills.

The benefits of this type of connection are hard to dispute. One study found that 97% of people with a mentor have received value from the relationship. That nearly universal approval comes both from the practical career boost it facilitates and the positive emotional experience it provides.

However, not enough workers seek out a mentor. Those same statistics indicated that 85% of people do not currently have one of these crucial relationships.

If you don’t have a mentor now, how can you find one? Here are a few steps you should consider to find a mentor at work:

Figure Out Where You Want to Go

Finding a mentor is about facilitating your professional growth. It helps to know how you want to grow.

Specifically, you should decide how you want to develop. What positions would you like to fill? What skills do you want to learn? Answering these types of questions will help you find the ideal mentor for you.

Think About Traits You Admire

Don’t just focus on the nuts and bolts of business. You also want to nurture marketable soft skills and the right professional ethics. Look for mentors that can model these attributes as well.

Consider the traits you admire. A mentor acts as a kind of role model. With the right guide, you can pick up so much more than a few simple business tricks.

Introduce Yourself Around

Once you’ve identified what you’re looking for, start talking to the veterans around you. Think about the people in your network and the team members that surround you. Start simple conversations and get to know individuals on a personal level.

Think of this like the dating stage of the mentor process. You’re learning about the folks around you and looking for a specific person you can build a deeper relationship with.

Nurture Relationships Over Time

Mentorships are a kind of friendship. Unless your company offers a formal mentor program, don’t treat this like you’re hiring for a job. No need to hang a “mentor wanted” sign on your desk.

Instead, let the relationship develop organically. Build a rapport. This shouldn’t be a transactional arrangement. Rather, it should represent a natural camaraderie.

Look to Help Your Mentor

Don’t get selfish about the relationship. Sure, you want to push your career forward. But don’t become a parasite. Your mentor/mentee connection should represent a two-way street.

That’s why a real friendship forms a core pillar of finding a mentorship. Ideally, you should boost your mentor’s career at the same time they are bolstering yours. Who knows? You might be able to teach them a few new skills as well.

Finding the right business relationships, like a strong mentorship, gets easier when you’re surrounded by the best people. That comes from landing the perfect position. Partnering with a top recruiter, like SmartTalent, puts you in the ideal situations to accelerate your career.

Contact SmartTalent today to jumpstart your professional development.

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