One of the most important and rewarding parts of a successful career is mentoring. It’s also one of the most challenging aspects when it comes to finding mentors, sustaining relationships with them, and balancing your work-life balance. In this blog post, we’ll explore some common challenges that can come up when you’re looking for mentors or mentees and take a look at how to overcome these challenges so you can get back on track in your quest for success.
1. There’s No One Suitable In Your Network
This is a big one. You might be surrounded by people who aren’t as successful as you think they should be or who don’t have the experience you’re looking for in a mentor. Or perhaps your network is mostly made up of friends and family, and they’re too busy to really focus on your needs.
Don’t be discouraged! You can develop a more extensive network by attending events or joining associations that cater to the type of people you want to meet. Simply speaking up and saying you’re looking for a mentor is also an option. Make sure you approach people who are at the level you’d like to find yourself in one day and, of course, make sure you capture their attention and interest right away.
2. They’re Not Interested In Mentoring
It’s important to remember that a mentor has a lot of expertise and experience and the time and willingness to share it with another person. A good mentoring relationship isn’t just about finding someone in your network. It’s also about finding someone who’s interested in mentoring – and there are a lot of people out there.
Overcoming this challenge can be as simple as adjusting your search for a mentor. You could try asking for advice from someone you think might make a great mentor, even if they’re not interested in being one. In other words, stop thinking about mentoring as just having someone to guide your career and start thinking about mentoring as a collaboration with another person who’s willing to invest in your success.
3. You Haven’t Set Clear Expectations
Some people find a mentor but don’t communicate what they expect from the relationship, so both parties are left wondering if they’re on the same page. Setting clear expectations means being open and honest about what you hope to gain from the relationship. Think about what you’d like your mentor to do for you, such as help you advance in your career, share their contacts with you, or attend events with you.
Getting clear on mentoring expectations can make a big difference when it comes to making this relationship work for the long term. Setting expectations means having an open dialogue with your mentor, making it clear how much time you’ll need, and discussing the best way to communicate, whether that’s through in-person meetings or phone calls.
4. You Don’t Make Time For Your Relationship
Face it: Your career and personal life are both demanding, and finding time for a mentor can be difficult. You either put mentoring on the back burner or compromise by not communicating as frequently as you should. The result is that your relationship becomes stale over time – and so does your career growth.
Don’t let this challenge derail your search for mentoring. It’s possible to make time for both your work and personal life while still investing in your career growth so that you can achieve that work-life balance (and then some). You might find success by setting up regular meetings with your mentor on the weekends or evenings. Remember that you’re building a long-term, mutually satisfying relationship even if it means abandoning plans on occasion.
4. You’re Not Getting The Most Out Of Your Mentoring Relationship
Sometimes, people find a mentor and begin to think everything is going smoothly – until they realize that not much has changed in their career. Some people feel that their mentoring relationship isn’t working for them because they haven’t been proactive about getting what they want out of it.
Make sure your work with a mentor continues to be an investment, not just an expense of your time. This means you should be open about what you hope to get out of the relationship and work with your mentor to determine how best to meet those goals. It could be that your mentor is perfectly suited to helping you advance in your career – but it might be that they’re better at giving you advice than helping you get your work done.