A mentor can be someone within your organization or outside your organization who helps you navigate your career. That’s kind of a broad definition, but in reality, there’s an extremely wide variety of types of mentors. That’s why the first step is:
Decide What You Want
What do you want? Do you need someone within your organization to help you figure out how to advance? Or do you want someone who is in your industry, but outside your organization, to give you perspective? Are you looking for advice from someone who has arrived at the very top of an organization? Or do you need advice from someone who is a little closer to your particular situation?
Consider all of these questions, plus think about how you want to communicate with your mentor. Since you are searching for someone who can help navigate a remote career, make sure that someone has experience working (and advancing) remotely.
Choose a Mentor
Now it’s time to find someone who meets your needs. Create a list of all the people who meet your criteria you outlined in the step above. Rank those people in order of who you think you might work best with. Then it’s time to make the ask.
Having trouble coming up with a list of potential people to ask? Search using a platform like the nine listed here.
Now it’s time to ask the question. When you do ask your potential mentor, explain what you need and what you want out of the mentorship experience. Give them the opportunity to ask you clarifying questions or even say no if they are not able to commit in the way you’d like.
After you find a mentor, make sure to establish a schedule and clearly outline both of your expectations. Regularly check in to make sure both of you are getting what you need out of the relationship.
Want more? Make sure to check out our discussion on sponsorship and our Growplaceless – Remote Career Development Course to help you create a personalized development plan, and to be combined across teams for career pathing.