Having a mentor to help you navigate the twists and turns of a technology career is always a smart strategy. This rule applies whether you are a fresh graduate just beginning your professional life, or a veteran IT worker with many years of experience. An experienced pro who knows the ropes of the industry helps keep your career on the right track.
Here are a few ideas on how to find a mentor as a seasoned technology employee. Use these insights to ensure you always have someone to offer advice and inspiration. Good luck in your search!
Don’t Ask a Stranger to Be a Mentor
Reaching out to a stranger – whether on LinkedIn or at a conference – for mentorship purposes is rarely a good idea. A potential mentor needs to understand what makes you tick as both a professional and a person. You first need to build a relationship with a fellow technology pro before asking them to serve as your mentor.
Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg also feels you shouldn’t force the process. “If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious. The question becomes a statement. Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works,” said Sandberg.
Look Within Your Current Professional Network
Searching for a mentor from among the members of your professional network is a wiser choice. Make sure the person in question previously served with you in some capacity, so they are aware of your strengths and weaknesses as an IT pro. They also need to believe in your potential in the field.
A previous manager or some other person in a leadership role at a current or former employer makes the most sense. They need trust in your ability to act on any advice offered to you. Having your own set of professional goals ready to go before your first meeting assures them you are serious about the mentoring relationship.
Make sure you follow their advice and show progress towards reaching the goals you both agreed upon. Keeping open communication channels helps you get the valuable feedback to take your tech career to a higher level.
When you need additional insights on tech career development, talk to the experts at Synerfac. As one of the leading IT staffing agencies in Tysons Corner and the rest of the Metro DC area, we can help make your professional life more rewarding. Connect with us as soon as possible.