This story originally appeared on Personal Branding Blog
A mentor can help you get ahead of your co-workers and increase your chances of getting promoted. However, you should be careful when choosing your mentor. Sometimes a person feels just right but in other cases, you need to make some evaluations before starting the relationship. Below are some questions that will help you choose the right mentor.
1. Is this person happy with his/her career?
It is very important for your mentor to be happy in his/her career, otherwise s/he cannot guide you towards the right direction. If someone is only doing his/her job just to earn money, s/he cannot be your ideal mentor because this person cannot find satisfaction in what s/he does and is condemned to be failed in the end. If you truly want to be successful, you need to find a mentor who is happy in doing what s/he is doing daily so that you can also fulfill your soul and achieve your best.
2. Do you admire this person?
Your mentor should be someone that you look up to and probably have achieved the goals you hope to achieve. In this way, you can gain something from this person. Obviously, you need to return the favor to your mentor as well. Only in this way, it can be an ongoing relationship. Your mentor should learn something new from you too such as a new technology or a tool about your job or at least gain a new business connection.
3. Is this person a good listener?
A good mentor should be a good listener. S/he should really understand the root cause of your problem and guide you accordingly. The key here is that a good mentor is the one who lets you develop your own ideas by asking you the right questions. A mentor should not manipulate you with only his/her own ideas or opinions. S/he should enable you to look everything from a different window.
4. Does this person challenge you?
A good mentor should challenge you because only in this way you can learn something new. S/he should make you open up to new ideas and perspectives. A good mentor is not someone who tells you what to do but rather s/he is the one who encourages you to find new paths for yourself. You can only move up, if you overcome the challenges thrown at you and this is only possible by constantly changing yourself and adapting to new situations.