How to Find (and Keep) a Mentor

November 6, 2019 | By: Molly Looman

Most professionals will tell you the first thing you should do when you enter a business is to find a mentor. Mentorship can be a valuable resource in any career. Building engineers can use it to learn new technologies, receive guidance on career steps and have a sounding board. Finding a mentor can be more difficult than it sounds, but the result will be well worth it.


Look Around and Outside your Organization 

The first step to having a mentor is to find one. While traditionally a mentor is found within the industry and company you work in, it is more important to find someone that can advise you in a productive way. There are a few ways to find mentors. The first is to pay attention to the structure within your company. If you are inspired by your chief engineer and you get along, they may be a good option. You can also join a professional organization in order to meet people outside your company. You want someone who is going to be honest and cares about your advancement. This is why some people prefer a mentor outside their company or industry because they don’t feel uncomfortable talking about their current workplace. 


Set Expectations Early 

In order to have a prosperous mentorship, the expectations should be set early. Areas like time commitment, transparency and dedication to the relationship should be well understood by both parties. Not establishing at least an outline of what the expectations are may lead to a mismatch on intentions. In order for no one to get their feelings hurt or not receive the right help, expectations should be set early.  


Keep in Touch 

Like any good relationship, a mentorship requires upkeep. Even if you move beyond the space you originally met your mentor, you should still work to keep up with them. Creating a regular meeting schedule can ease that process and ensure you get to speak with them on a fairly regular basis. You must also allow the relationship to evolve. People switch jobs, towns and industry. It is okay for a mentorship to fade away or to find another person that is a better fit.  


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