How to choose the right mentor … the first time

Choosing the right mentor can be an exciting process for some and an uncertain one for others, due to the factors which have to be taken into consideration when choosing one.

Many a time, we all aspire to be mentored by someone who is well accomplished and who is in alignment with us. Other times, we are looking for a mentor who has experienced life in various ways, and has acquired wisdom whilst on the pursuit of success. These people come in different forms and with their own dynamics.

My experience with mentorship has been a fulfilling one because my mentors have been people who are aligned to my life plan. You see, choosing a mentor doesn’t have to be cast and stone, because of our diverse and dynamic traits which we embody as individuals.

Mentorship is a journey of guidance that is applicable to any area of your life.

When choosing a mentor, there are a couple of considerations one needs to keep in mind.

Step 1

The first question you need to ask yourself is WHY? Why do you need a mentor? This is linked to which need you are seeking to fulfil with the presence of a guide in your life. Taking time to reflect and unpack the why will help define the purpose of the mentor in your life. This will also assist in defining the traits which the mentor needs to have, in order for them to be able to align to your WHY.  Our needs are so direct and sometimes so versatile, and through the transitions we experience in our journeys, the roles which people play have to somewhat be aligned with the goal which we have in mind.

Step 2

The second question you need to ask yourself is WHO? This is linked to the person you would like to have as a mentor. Who is my ideal mentor and why do they appeal to me and my needs? What kind of mentor do I want? What kind of mentors have I encountered in the past and what traits did they have in them which really made them appealing to me? Do I want a mentor who is highly accomplished in their career or someone who has an in-depth meaning and reflection of life? These and many other questions are some of the things you need to reflect on because your mentor serves as a reflection of some of your innate needs and wants which at times we aspire to.

Step 3

Values and principles? What values do my ideal mentor communicate and aspire to? Values are a very important aspect which help guide our lives. We are born with values and acquire values as we progress through life. A mentor whom you would like to have in your journey needs to have values which are in alignment with yours. As mentioned earlier on, nothing is cast and stone. You will get that mentor who can help challenge and shape your value system for the better.

Step 4

Willingness and availability are two important factors to take into consideration when choosing a mentor. You are seeking someone who is willing and available to mentor you, Mentoring is often considered as an act of giving back, and most of the time, most people who voluntarily embark on this journey are people who are not expecting any monetary reward in return. Often if not half the time, these are people who are dedicating their time and skills to empower, evoke and inspire growth in their mentees.

We need to learn to respect people’s time which they invest in assisting us on our journeys, and mentorship is one of those areas which need to me respected and also reciprocated. I would love to receive your feedback and inputs as they mean a lot and can add on to what has been shared.

What’s been your experience with looking for a mentor in the past? Do you have a mentor? If so, what advice do you have for someone seeking one? Feel free to share your experience and use it to empower our community here: