Whether you are in college, or are still in high school, finding a mentor is critical to your future success. It’s nice to know that somebody is in your corner, looking out for you and helping you make the right choices. From helping you decide where to go to college to giving you advice on choosing a major to helping you choose a career path, a mentor can give you advice to help guide you to a bright future. A mentor can also serve as a reference, and write you letters of recommendation.
So where can you find a mentor or multiple mentors to help you? Here are a few suggestions:
- School: If you are in high school, perhaps a beloved teacher can serve as a mentor. Coaches or those teachers involved with leading extracurricular activities may be able to help. And don’t forget guidance counselors – mentoring can be part of their job description. If you are in college, a professor or teaching assistant may be able to guide you, if you build a rapport. And academic advisors can also mentor you, and are experts at guiding you on your career path.
- Volunteering: By doing public service, you may not just help your community, but you may be able to find a mentor who would be right for you. From volunteering at the hospital to helping at an animal shelter, career coaching experts say that you could make good connections for your future with volunteer efforts.
- Work: Your manager at your first job may make an excellent mentor, teaching you about the value of hard work, and perhaps giving you career advice. In addition, if there is a particular field you are interested in working in, why not seek out a place to get either a part-time job or internship at, and you may be able to find a mentor there if you make a great impression.
- Church: From the minister or pastor to church members, there could be numerous people in your church who want to help guide you and can provide advice and counsel. Part of what churches are about is helping their younger members succeed.
- Family friends: Does your mom or dad have friends who may be interested in mentoring you? For example, maybe you want to be an accountant, and your mother has a good friend who works for one of the Big Six accounting firms.
- Internet: Thanks to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, it is easier than ever before to write to people in your future field who you admire. You may be able to get some great advice from them for your future.
- Formal mentoring programs: Your community, high school or college may have specific programs available to foster mentoring, matching up those who want to be mentors who those who need mentors. So check around and see what is available.
- Political campaigns: If you are civic-minded, why not volunteer on a political campaign, whether it be for a city council race, a state senate race, or even a presidential campaign. You can make some great connections, and learn from those who are doing. Good luck.