No matter where you are in your career, having a mentor is an important strategy. Not only can you learn from your mentor, but they will keep you accountable and help you grow in your profession. With that being said, sometimes it’s not so easy to find a mentor! Even though some organizations or school programs will provide you with a mentor, you will get the most out of the mentoring experience if you strategically choose and find your own. Here are some tips on how to find the right mentor for you!
Start with a self evaluation of what you want to get out of having a mentor. Are you looking for personal guidance? Networking opportunities? Whatever your reasons may be, it’s important to know what your goals are so that you can choose the best mentor to fit your needs. This step is also where you need to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Choose a mentor that fits well with your personality and that will compliment your weaker spots.
Now you must decide what types of traits or qualities you would like your mentor to have. Your mentor should be someone who is professional and a good role model for nurses. They should be an excellent listener, as well as honest with you. Even though age doesn’t matter with a mentor, your mentor should be at least 3 to 5 years ahead of you in their nursing career so that they can help you along the way.
Find Your Mentor
You now have an idea of who you want as your mentor, so start writing down a list of names of people who meet those requirements. Consider nurse leaders you have already come into contact with at work or leaders you have met at professional organizations. Remember, you can always ask for suggestions! Once you have a good list of names, learn as much about them as you can! Never assume that anyone is too big or successful to want to mentor you. You never know until you ask and the worst they can say is no!
Once you have successfully found a mentor, always try to take their advice and follow through with their suggestions. Always be willing to go above and beyond to prove to them you appreciate their guidance and trust them and their advice. Someday it will be your turn to give back!