Human Resource Management graduate, Stephanie Yeo, is a passionate, innovative, and highly engaging people specialist. As a volunteer mentor with She Mentors, Steph shares her advice on how to find a mentor who can help you make your mark.
Whether you’re just starting your career or find yourself changing roles or even industries, the role of a mentor can make a big difference in helping you make your mark.
Sometimes, when we think about asking someone to be a mentor to us, it can feel like quite the formal process, however; it doesn’t have to be.
From my experience, mentorship doesn’t always have to be formal. In fact, like any relationship, the more organic it is, the easier it will be to build trust and mutual respect over time.
In finding a mentor, here are three steps that I’ve found helpful throughout my career:
1. Find someone you like and want to be like
A great mentor is someone who you can truly connect with; they might have a similar set of strengths and skills that you would like to emulate, someone who has a role that you would like in the next five or ten years or even someone who has a different set of skills and experiences that you would like to learn from.
2. Hang out where your potential mentors might be
The year was 2016, I had just pivoted my career from Human Resources into Customer Experience and other than my immediate team, I didn’t know anyone else in the field. I had to start from square one (huge pun intended).
Whilst attending a Women In Digital meetup on Customer Experience, I met Ale Wiecek (Founder of Sqr One; a Human Centered Design studio). Ale’s knowledge of customer experience, design thinking and human centered design blew me away and I immediately connected with her to find out how she got started. Four years later, we’re still in touch and still learning from each other.
Whether it’s an event at your workplace such as a keynote or panel discussion, a meetup, an industry event, online through blogs and LinkedIn posts and even within your existing network; there are plenty of opportunities to find mentors who are well versed in the areas you are seeking to know more about.
3. Do your research and be explicit with your ask
Before reaching out to a potential mentor, it is essential to reflect on your short and long term goals and what you hope to learn from them.
A mentor can provide insights into their experiences and offer new perspectives on how to reach your goals, bring your ideas to life and grow your career.
Take a thoughtful approach and do the research about the possible mentor's work. Then open with what you like about their work and why you would like to meet.
Mentorships are incredibly valuable; they can help you overcome a transition or hurdle or become better in an area of work that you need more support or guidance
A great mentor can serve as a sounding board for critical points throughout your career as they provide feedback, encouragement and can foster a sense of accountability.
More about Steph
With a background in human resources and experience management, Steph is a co-creating people specialist who utilises intentional design to create structures for success.
Steph loves helping individuals and teams cultivate connections as well as providing the support, skills, and resources needed to connect the dots on their journey of growth.
She is in her genius zone when designing and delivering impactful programs and workshops that create moments of clarity and connection for those involved, ensuring alignment between organisational values across initiatives and helping leaders, team members, and stakeholders navigate ever-evolving cultures and change effectively.