Warren Buffet with Bill Gates,
Steve Jobs with Mark Zuckerberg,
Michelle Robinson with Barack Obama…

Do you recognize these names?
Probably, yes!

Do you know what it is the relationship between each pair?
One was the mentor for the other.
Warren Buffet for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs for Mark Zuckerberg.

If you are passionate about being successful in your area of expertise,
getting a mentor should be top of your priority list, keep reading here on how to get a mentor at work.

How to get a mentor at work

Do you want to be successful at work?
If you are reading about how to get a mentor, I would assume yes.

Do you know what they have in common with successful people?
Successful people tend to have mentors
But do you know what a mentor is? let’s deep dive into it.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced individual who provides professional guidance to another individual (normally less experienced).

Think about your mentor,
as the person who is already in a position (or level) that you would like to achieve,
who will be able to show you all the “tips & tricks” of what needs to be done to reach such a level.

The mentor should be that person that you trust that first name that comes to your mind when you need guidance and perspective on different business situations you face at work.

Having a good mentor (and even better, more than one member) is one of the major factors that can define how successful your career will be.

Step by step on how to find a mentor

If you don’t know where to start in the process of finding a mentor,
I show you step by step what you can do to find your next mentor.

If you don’t know where you want to go, you will always go in the wrong direction.
Clearly define your professional goals, what you miss to reach them and what you expect to get out of the relationship with your mentor.
This will help you determine what kind of mentor you are looking for and what qualities and characteristics your mentor should have.

Same as the recruiters, try to identify the set of skills and experiences that you would like your future mentor to have.
Do not stick only to LinkedIn or social media platforms,
within your workplace validate on the higher levels who do you think could be a good fit based on your goals.
If you run out of ideas, why not reach out to your friends?
Ask them if they have mentors in the area of expertise you are interested in.

Ask, ask, ask
The main reason why people do not have mentors is that people do not ask.

Let’s put some numbers, 76% of people say that mentors are important.
But, do you know how many people actually have a mentor?
I can tell you, not 76% but rather somewhere below 40%.
The main reason? Because people do not ask.

The fear of rejection is real, but the NO you have it already.
Focus on clarifying your own goals and the profile of the mentor you are looking for,
And once you are clear on this,
you should have on your mind at least 2-3 names who could be a good fit for being your mentor.

Now, let’s forget about the fear of rejection and let’s start reaching out to potential mentors.  

Either via e-mail,
LinkedIn message,
or even face to face, whatever works best for you…

In case you lack some inspiration on what to write to your potential mentors,
I leave you here some template examples you can use to approach your future mentors.

How to reach out to a potential mentor via email

Hello [Mentor’s Name],

My name is [Your Name], and I am currently working in [Role/Company].
I came across your work and was deeply impressed by your experience and accomplishments in [industry related to the mentor’s field].

I am reaching out to you because I am eager to learn from someone with your level of expertise, and I believe that mentorship with you would be incredibly valuable to my growth in [industry].
I would love to have the opportunity to pick your brain about your experiences, ask for guidance on my professional career, and get any insight you may have for someone just starting out in the[industry].

I understand that you are a busy person, and your time is valuable, so I completely understand if you are unable to take me on as a mentee. However, if there is even the slightest possibility that we could schedule a call or meeting in [proposed week], I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to having you as my mentor.


[Your Name]

How to reach out to a potential mentor via LinkedIn message

A longer version of the LinkedIn message

Subject: Request for mentorship in [industry]

Dear [Mentor’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I came across your profile on LinkedIn. I was impressed by your experience and accomplishments in [field of study or industry related to the mentor’s field], and I would be honoured if you would consider mentoring me.

I am eager to learn from someone with your level of expertise, and I believe that mentorship with you would be incredibly valuable to my growth in [field of study or industry]. I would love the opportunity to discuss your experiences, ask for guidance on any current projects I am working on, and gain insight on any advice you may have for someone just starting out in the field.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


[Your Name]

If you want to go for a shorter version of the LinkedIn message, see the below proposal:

Subject: Request for mentorship in [industry]

Hi [Mentor’s Name],

My name is [Your Name], and I came across your profile. I admire your experience in [industry] and I would be grateful for your mentorship.

Can we schedule a call to discuss more it?


[Your Name]

Some principles to consider when building your message for approaching your future mentors:

  • Keep the message professional
  • Be precise and to the point
  • Highlight why you choose him/her to be your future mentor
  • Propose a short first connect – no more than 10-15 minutes
  • Share how this person can benefit from being your mentor

How to approach your first meeting with your mentor

Do you recall your first meeting with your partner? – Same it is with your mentor.
In the first meeting, you are about to get to know each other.

Don’t start the meeting by discussing work-related topics,
but first, try to focus on building first this personal connection.
What are the interests of your mentor? Where did he/she travel last? Which are his future plans? Does she/he have a family? Which is the book he/she would recommend?
Get to know your mentor at a personal level!

Once you are more into the meeting, try to bring more work-related questions.
Why do you think you got such a position in such a short time?
Which skills do you think are a must for a leader?

Be diligent in taking notes from the points done by your mentor.

And at the end of the meeting, summarize the pieces of advice your mentor provided to show that you value the input.
You can say something like: “The book your first 90 days at work, seems like a must for future leaders. I’ll look into it and we can chat about it in our next meeting. Thanks for that suggestion.”

A few days later, you may want to consider sending a thank you note, summarizing the discussion and how you are implementing the tips in your day-to-day work while encouraging the next meeting to happen.

No matter if it is with a mentor or with your people.
The first meeting is key, as it will make the other person build an image of you.
T Learn how to manage first one-to-one meetings as manager.

Tips for a successful mentorship

If you want to make the most from your mentorship relationship,
you agree with me you want it, right?

Some easy tips to consider:

Clarity on both sides, which it is the main goal of this mentorship relationship.
This is key as it will help both you and your mentor to get the most about this relationship.
Decide what you want to achieve together and develop a plan with your mentor about how to do it.

Form a personal relationship. A good personal relationship with your mentor is important for fostering a good mentoring relationship with them. Familiarize yourself with them, and make it a priority to work well with them.

Constructive feedback is not a criticism
If you get a mentor, this is not to hear about all the good things you do.
Your mentor will as well share some constructive feedback.
Don’t take it personally.
Learning how to accept constructive criticism, is a must skill to learn if you are serious about improving your career.

Get to know your mentor
What does your mentor like to do outside the job? What are his/her time preferences? How often your mentor would like to meet? How could you help your mentor in this relationship?
With all these ingredients, take the lead and organize all the logistics of the mentorship meetings, clearly including the topics you would like to touch-base.

Show your mentor that you care!

Communicate often – be in touch
Do you have any updates from work? Share it with your mentor
Did you get recognition? Make your mentor part of it!
Communicate, communicate, and communicate!
Build the habit of sharing regular updates with your mentors, especially after key moments in your career (managing a crisis, bringing innovation, salary increase, promotion …).
In the same way, if you made a mistake, don’t hide it and be honest.
Transparency is key for a fruitful mentorship relationship.

Dear X,

I finally got down to reading that book and I have to say, I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. What a great story of grit and determination. Thank you for recommending it.

I was planning to take a course in creative writing from Y institute. Are you familiar with it?  Maybe we can discuss this during our next catch-up? I know you’re very busy, but let me know if you’d have time to meet up in the next couple of weeks. I’d really appreciate it. 

Practice gratitude. Being a mentor is often a significant commitment. Thank them for their guidance in ways like giving them handwritten thank-you notes after each section or providing a professional recommendation for them.

Benefits of having a mentor

Now that you know how to get a mentor, a list of benefits of why it is important to have a mentor:

  • A safe partner to ask those topics you would not dare to ask your manager
  • Networking with a person a few levels higher
  • Discovering new business opportunities
  • Avoiding future mistakes by learning from an experienced person
  • Developing your leadership skills and behaviours
  • Receiving feedback (constructive, too) on how you managed real business situations
  • Building the message track how to pursue your future promotion and internal move.
  • And finally, when things do not go as planned, the go-to person who motivates you and supports you

And still, you are doubting about getting a mentor? Go for it!

If you are all in about being a manager, learn how to go from analyst to manager.

How your mentor can benefit from being your mentor

The mentorship relationship is not a one-way street.
It is not only you who are getting the benefit of having a mentor.

Your mentor can get major benefits out of this relationship, too!
Offer your help
Mentees can often help their mentors, too. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help them, such as providing your opinion on a presentation they’re working on or proofreading a document for them.

Discover new business opportunities
Is one of your managers/senior managers in need of an expert to run a training?
propose to your mentor if he/she would be interested and connect the people.
It all is about networking. Your networking. Your mentor networking.
When you connect with interesting people that do not know each other previously,
normally good things happen… lead that networking. Make people connect.

Show the new trends in the business
Is there any new system implemented that is a truly game changer? Show it to your mentor.
Have you implemented an innovation? Explain to your manager, the reasoning behind it, how you implemented and what the benefits are.
Normally the mentors being a few levels higher are not so much “in touch”, with the things that are happening on the operational levels.

FAQ How to get a mentor at work

Some questions regarding how to get a mentor at work.

How do I find a mentor at work?

Define your goals, sense check both at work and on LinkedIn who could be a good fit for being your mentor, and approach them via email/message clearly explaining what you want from them and how the mentor can benefit from the mentorship relationship

How do I attract a mentor?

Make yourself visible, show your value and how your mentor can benefit from having you as his/her mentee. Showing new business opportunities, new trends in the business…

Can your manager be your mentor?

Theoretically yes, although it would be recommended for your manager to be different from your manager so you can get the best pieces of advice on what it would be best for your professional career.

Is it hard to find a mentor?

If you don’t try to find a mentor, it is very hard.
If you are clear about what you want and what you expect from a mentor, it is rather easy. Be honest and approach your future mentors with a professional and concise message.

Can a mentor help you get a job?

Yes, of course. Your mentor normally is a few levels higher than you. If you show your potential, your name will be always top of his/her mind for any vacancy within the organization.

Do you usually pay a mentor?

As in many things in life, it depends.
Normally the mentors within your organization do not charge for the mentorship relationship. However, mentors outside of your organize may charge for “their time”

How long do mentorship relationships last?

There is not predefined timing as such, but normally the mentorship relationships last between 6-12 months. In the end, it is all up to you and your mentor.

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