It can be difficult to get somewhere you’ve yet to go and grow in your life and business without the guidance of others. Mentorship is a tried-and-true way to help you to do that. In fact, there are a lot of ways to glean the knowledge you’re seeking from others that don’t require a long-term commitment or a heavy lift from any party. Specifically, there are five ways (not just one) to access that support and guidance you need:
1️. Paired: Join up with someone whose skill set you’re looking to learn, and in exchange, they’re looking to learn one of yours. This becomes an equal-value exchange. You’ll determine together how often you’ll connect, for how long, and when you both feel complete.
2️. Reverse: This one’s great if you’re earlier in your career and not sure what value you have to add. You can mentor someone who is more seasoned and is looking to learn from your perspective. (Fortune 500 company executives do this, so don’t count it out!)
3️. From afar: The person mentoring you doesn’t need to know you exist. You can digest their podcast, white paper, Instagram posts, TED talk, book, or whatever other materials they put out so you can learn from their wisdom.
4️. Moments: Don’t squander those passing moments in a rideshare, at a conference, or at a virtual event with a speaker from whom you want to learn. Do your homework, ask a great question, and let that be a mentoring moment.
5️. Traditional: This one always conjures up images of a mahogany desk and a large leather-bound chair. Typically, this is when someone further along in their career wants to invest heavily in someone earlier on, usually because they see a part of themselves in that person. This is by far the heaviest lift, and the most unequally weighted, so rely on numbers one through four when this one is not on the table.
Depending on the complexity of your need, the season you’re in, and the time you have to allocate to this, it’s great to move in and out of these during different seasons of growth.
Which will you try first to get the support and guidance you need?