How to find a mentor
Everyone needs a mentor in their life.
I’ve been blessed to have multiple mentors guiding my entire life, both personally and professionally. From as early as I can remember, I’ve had mentors of some sort speaking wisdom and truth into my life. I’ve never regretted asking a mentor for advice. A significant part of who I am is because of the mentors God has placed in my life.
The concept of having a mentor isn’t a new idea. We see the call to discipleship all throughout the Bible. The term “mentor” actually comes from Homer’s classic work The Odyssey where Odysseus asks his friend Mentor to look after his son Telemachus while Odysseus is away fighting in the Trojan War. We see mentor-types all over culture: Yoda, Don Alejandro, Mr. Miyagi, Uncle Ben Parker, Gandalf, and one of my favorites, Robin Williams’ character Professor Keating from Dead Poets’ Society.
Mentors can bring valuable wisdom, intentional questions, and third-party perspective that we can’t find in our own efforts. Steven Spielberg once said, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
Without the presence of an older, wiser mentor in your life, you can miss out on valuable insight and growth for a more meaningful future.
Why do you want a mentor?
You need to know why you personally need a mentor. A mentor can’t fix character; they can only point out character strengths and flaws. A mentor can’t make you successful; they can only give you wisdom that you have to implement for yourself.
The first step is finding a mentor is knowing the purpose behind having a mentor in your life. That may mean identifying areas of growth that need nurturing. It may mean getting direction and help articulating hopes and dreams that you feel called to pursue. What it ultimately means is submitting your life perspective under the influence of someone you trust will enrich your future.
How to find a mentor
When it comes to finding a mentor, there are several important questions to consider in your search…
- Who do you know, like, and trust whose life you respect?
- What does their reputation, personal, and professional life attract you to their influence?
- How well do you know them? And, how well do they know you?
- Are they approachable with good questions?
- Do they have the heart of a teacher?
There may be other questions and concerns to think through along the way. Whatever process you follow, know that your life will be richer and deeper because you choose to learn from someone further down the road of life than you.