Choosing a Quality Mentor

January 8th, 2019

Mentorship is often thought of as something critical for the development of those just entering the profession, but in fact, mentorship is critical throughout your career. Good mentors can help you plot your next career move, build confidence and develop new skills, to name a few. Their influences can be a key to your success.

Mentorship is a customizable package and there is no rule stating that it has to be someone that is at your current company or even has the same job. However, it should be someone who can relate to your circumstances and help navigate progressive career steps. For instance, a physical therapist might choose a mentor outside of the PT profession but within the healthcare delivery system such as a physician, physician assistant, ARNP or an administrator.

You might choose a mentor several times throughout your professional life as changes take place.

Consider these aspects when searching for a mentor that fits well with you.

Compatibility.

This relationship should feel natural and not forced as you will be working closely with them. Does this person share the same values as you? Are they known for being a team player or a leader who thrives on helping others?

Quality mentors ask a lot of relevant questions to ensure they are helping you efficiently and having you help yourself.

Knowledge.

It’s not about finding the person with the most years under their belt or the best title. It’s about finding one with the experience and knowledge to help you navigate your journey. Have they been in similar scenarios as you? How did they overcome obstacles?

Different Personalities.

You are looking to test your limits and excel. For that, you need someone that will bring you out of your comfort zone, who will challenge and hold yourself accountable. It is important to get different perspectives on things both in business and life. For instance, if you have difficulty articulating your thoughts and ideas, seek out a public speaking superstar.

Trust.

Your mentor will be privy to things happening in your life that you might not share with everyone. The mentor will need to trust you as well because somewhere along the way they might be opening up about their vulnerabilities and past experiences.

Getting to know anyone takes time; if necessary, set ground rules and once you know one another better you will be able to build on the mutual trust to get the most out of your relationship.

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