A Road Map for Finding a Mentor

The elusive mentor: We’re all supposed to have one, but how do you actually get one?

“I think everybody wants to know the answer to that,” said Ellen Ensher, a professor of management at Loyola Marymount University and the author of Power Mentoring.

Ensher has studied mentoring for decades and has around half a dozen mentors for not just work but her personal life, too. “Life and work are hard enough—you don't always have to do everything the hard way,” she said. “You can learn from other people's experiences.” Research has found that people with mentors make more money, get promoted more rapidly and are more satisfied and happier with their jobs.

Yet, despite all the benefits of having a dedicated career sherpa, I have a total of zero mentors. I know I’m supposed to have one, but I’m not sure how to get one. This week on Works for Me, with Ensher’s help, I try to change that.

For those less savvy at creating effective, lasting mentor relationships, Ensher has come up with a roadmap to landing a mentor. She calls it the 4 Rs. Each “R” stands for a step in the mentor finding process: Reflect, Research, Reach out, Reflect again. Ensher said to follow these steps and within six weeks, I should be able to meet someone and set up at least one further mentor meeting with them.

Using her tips, I embark on a journey to find the perfect person to guide me through my career. Listen to the full episode to see if the Four Rs are all it takes to land a mentor. 

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