With so many of us working from home, it's hard to simply catch up for a coffee with your mentor, previously I would meet my mentor for a coffee every 6 weeks in the office. He is a senior leader at the company that I work, and I would knock on his office door.
Firstly, do not assume that you have to have a mentor in the same physical location as you, you can just as easily book a video or voice call with them. Since the pandemic, I have learnt that the communication does not have to be a face-to-face meeting, I now have mentors in 3 regions. Also, it doesn't need to be about just 'that meeting' you can stay in touch over email.
Secondly, I learnt from one of my mentors, which has resonated with me, of course your mentor's time is valuable, and he/she may get in touch saying that they have a conflict, but don't just cancel the meeting and leave until the next occurrence which may be in 6 weeks time. Reschedule to happen with the next 7 days, it demonstrates that you are committed to the mentoring relationship and are prepared to be flexible.
Finally, I think that mentors are incredibly valuable, not just for providing guidance and training to you, but they can offer reassurance and a fresh perspective.
So here are a few tips on finding a mentor:
Think about what you want to achieve?
Before anything, why do you want a mentor? Obviously support and guidance is nice, but what do you actually want to improve or achieve? Or to go even deeper, what kind of person do you want to be?
Assess your current network
It’s tempting to ask a stranger to be your mentor, whether in a desire to reinvent yourself or start your relationship without any preconceptions. However, the challenge of getting a stranger to mentor you is far greater (and more daunting) than somebody who already knows you.
Start by thinking of people you know and admire. These people will already know your personality and will hopefully be more invested in your development.
Commit to the Relationship A good mentoring relationship takes dedication and effort from both parties. If you’ve managed to find a good mentor, make sure you put in the time to make it work!