How to Find a Good Mentor: 5 Tips
You’ve decided: you’re ready to be a veterinary success. Now what? Often, behind every successful veterinarian is a mentor. They have been goal-oriented, committed and driven, using such qualities to make the most of their mentor. In this article, I break down my five key tips in your quest for a mentor. Follow these, and you too will harness the potential for success.
What are you trying to achieve?
Before approaching a mentor, it is vital to have an idea of your end goal. Sure, progress is not linear, but starting with a wider perspective will make your goals tangible. It could be a six month, 12 month or even a three year goal. Regardless, if you start with the end in mind your mentoring sessions can be focussed, practical and relevant. Remember, this is your ship. By being clear of the end destination, your mentor can help you to plot the coordinates so you get there on time.
Be specific about what you need help with
Linked to this is the importance of figuring specific questions that you need help with. Perhaps you have launched a new podcast series. Your latest episode received 51 views. OK, but 49 of these were your mum. The questions are: why is this happening? Is my content not engaging? Or am I not publicising it correctly? By asking better questions, a mentor can give better answers. It’s that simple. Indeed, a mentoring session is not about having a vague chat and a cup of tea, it is about harnessing your potential.
Choose an aspirational mentor, one that is clearly executing their goals to a high standard. Furthermore, choose a mentor with relevant experience and qualities to the goal you are setting out to accomplish. Obviously, asking the grizzly, burnt-out mentor about communicating with clients is probably not going to attain the most valuable results. Do a bit of research: what are their ‘success stories’? Do their qualities align with your aspirations?
Don’t waste their time!
Mentors have incredibly busy schedules and, as such, it is important to make the most of each session. Don’t treat them like your glorified babysitter by constantly asking questions outside of the session. Rather, step away from the meeting with clear take-away points in mind and, why wait, put these into practice! Of course, if they didn’t have the desire or time, your mentor wouldn’t have agreed to do this in the first place. But, the best way you could thank them is by using the information they provided to become your own success story!
Equally, if someone says ‘no’, don’t take this to heart. They are simply being honest and do not have time to give you the mentorship you require.
Pass it on
You did it. The knowledge, the information and the skills you have gained from your mentor have helped you to achieve your goals. Now it is time to show your gratitude. First, cast an eye over the seas you have traversed. You have learnt so much in getting to your destination. Then, pass this knowledge on by becoming a mentor to the next person starting their journey!
We have come full circle. These tips should provide the foundations of your search for and experience of mentorship. If you weren’t before, now you are ready to find a good mentor, get the most out of your mentor, express your gratitude and be a better mentor in the future!
At VetX Thrive, we have three world-class veterinary mentors in our team who host live mentoring sessions across Europe, North America and Australia. These sessions have been proven to be a massive help to our Thrivers find their way through their careers. These mentoring sessions (and previously recorded ones) are all included with your Thrive subscription with no hidden costs. Find out more by clicking here