Career advancement is a major concern in the US. With the American unemployment rates constantly fluctuating up and down, many are turning to mentors and career coaches for assistance. If you’re seeking creative ways for advancing your career, a mentor may be just what you need. The key, though, is finding the right mentor for you. This can be quite tricky for some people. That’s why it’s important to know some of the keys to finding a career mentor that will be qualified in assisting with advancing your career. Also, since this person will be coaching you, it’s imperative that your mentor is someone you can personally work with to get the job done. Here are three great tips to help you choose the right mentor for advancing your career:

1. Find People You Admire

Identify the type of people you admire and look up to. Keep in mind that admiration and respect don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Just because you have respect for a person, say your boss, doesn’t mean you admire them. Your respect may come from the level of authority they hold in your life. But, true admiration goes beyond respect. It’s a deep feeling of approval of that person’s values.

Once you have identified the type of people you truly admire, this will set the bar for the type of mentor you should be looking for. You want to find someone who has a generous spirit that genuinely enjoys helping people. Make sure they have already successfully gone through the career path you’re on. They will be more will to share their experiences with you and assist you with advancing your career.

2. Request a Meeting

You must have an open communication with your mentor. Whether they are a relative, professional career coach, leadership developer or an online career management expert, you must be willing to meet with them. Once you have identified the type of mentor you admire, set up a meeting to get to know them better. If they’re not willing to communicate with you, then you know early in the game that they will not have the time to coach you at advancing your career.

When you contact your potential mentor, give him a brief explanation as to why you want his assistance. Give him sincere compliments so that he’ll know why you’ve chosen him. Share your visions for what you expect to gain from their mentoring. If he seems as excited as you are, you’ve found a great mentor that you can relate to. He will be more than willing to help you with advancing your career.

3. Preparation is the Key

Not everyone is able to find a quality mentor. But, if you’re one of the lucky ones, you don’t want to waste your mentor’s time. Be prepared to provide him with important information so that he has a good understanding of where you’re trying to go on your career path. He will want to know that you’ve put some serious thought into the end result you wish to achieve. Your mentor is your career coach, but he will not do the work for you. His job is not to make decisions for the future of your career. His goal will be to provide you with intelligent assistance that will help you achieve your own personal career goals. But, you must decide what those goals are first.

Start Advancing Your Career Today

Whatever approach you decide to take to find the right mentor for you, you should start towards that goal today. Set some reasonable expectations so that you won’t be wasting your mentor’s time. Once you find the ideal career coach you’ll be well on your way to advancing your career.

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