A few months ago I answered a fan question on networking, essentially they asked what type of people they needed in their network, and I went into great detail explaining the 5 different types of personalities and people everyone should have in their network.
It’s a really good episode ---episode #65 if you want to go back and listen. I thought of that episode this morning when I received this question from Mark in San Francisco –
Hi Brian - Love the podcast – I’m a junior in college majoring in Sports Administration, all of my courses talk about the nuts and bolts of this career path, but you are the only person out there helping all of us with ideas in internships and networking and strategies for our resumes and cover letters. Plus introducing us to all of these experts in the field… I mean come on it’s awesome.
My question today for you is about mentoring… I know you’ve talked about the importance of finding a mentor before on the show… but I still feel lost in this area. How do you get one? What should they be like? How do I know if they really want to be a mentor? I really need some guidance here.
Mark – I’m happy to provide guidance here! It’s a great question and per usual I have a lot of thoughts on it.
It has to happen more organically than that. Which sounds so squishy… but it’s true, it’s not something you can force.
You know how you buy a new shirt and you really think it’s cool and unique…then you go out on the street or around campus and it seems like everyone has the same shirt, or something close to it? It’s not that there is a change, you are just more aware of the shirt now, your awareness is heightened, so you notice it everywhere around you.
When my wife first got pregnant, it was like everywhere I looked was pregnant ladies… the number of pregnant ladies likely wasn’t any different, but because I was so hyper aware to it now, I just noticed it more.
The same thing goes for the mentor conversation… we talk about it, so that you have awareness, and when a relationship starts to form that makes sense… you identify and value it’s importance.
You aren’t actively going out and saying – you want me be my mentor? I think you’d be great!
It has to happen more naturally than that…but you also have ot put yourself in position for it to happen…which means getting out there. Talking to leaders during your internship, trying to form relationships with professors, going to conferences and speaking up…get yourself out there and put yourself in a position to notice the opportunity.
Now, here’s why I references my earlier podcast episode about the types of people you need in your network. I’ve gone back and thought about this in my own career…and I realized something. I don’t have just one mentor. I have multiple mentors.
So when people say “How do I find A mentor” what they should be asking is “what type of people are good mentors to have?”
Let’s answer that question too! BONUS BABY!
I went back and thought about my career and the guidance I’ve had and I’d say I’ve had at least 5 different mentors who all served different purposes and they all played a vital role in helping frame my perspective on work and life.
Let’s break them down a bit – with the caveat - there is no time limit on this. You don’t have to find 5 mentors by the end of the semester, this takes time and will occur over time, be open to it, be aware of it, and it will happen.
Listen in to the podcast episode to learn the 5 types of mentors you need in your sports career