Home > Planning > Where to Find a Mentor for Your Career Change

Where to Find a Mentor for Your Career Change

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 6 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Mentor Career Career Change Friends

Finding a mentor who can guide you through the trials and tribulations of a career change is certainly an important factor in your potential success. Of course, it’s great to be able to say, "I did this all by myself", but, if you find the right mentor, they will encourage and support you far more than is possible alone.

What Makes a Good Mentor?

The key issue is finding the right mentor. A good mentor is someone you can trust, who inspires you and knows about the industry you are planning to work in. That doesn’t mean that they have to be a complete expert in your new field, but they do need to have an awareness of the industry and be experienced in the type of career you’re moving into.

This might mean that your mentor has experience in Running A Restaurant and you’re looking to Open A Coffee Shop, or your mentor may have been a financial advisor and you’re Starting Your Own Business. The most important thing is that you find them fair, inspiring and helpful – a mentor that’s using your need for their help as a way to fuel their own ego is no help at all!

There is nothing wrong with actively looking to find a mentor. Most people love being asked their opinion and sharing what they know, so it’s a mutually beneficial situation.

Ask Around

The best place to start is to ask around your friends. Although it’s unlikely that someone from your peer group will be a suitable mentor, their parents or relatives might be. If you already know of a relative that has experience in your new field, you could start by asking if they would like to go for a coffee with you to talk about your possible new venture. If you feel that they might be a good mentor, there’s nothing wrong with coming straight out with it! Say something like, "I’d really appreciate being able to pick your brain while I get my business up and running," and see how they respond.

Networking Groups

If you don’t have a suitable mentor from your circle of friends, you could try joining a Networking Group. Although most people there will have their own agenda for growing and promoting their business, you could be open to the fact that you’re looking for a mentor and see what happens.

Further Education

Your old university or high school is also a great place to find a mentor. However long ago it was that you left, most places are pleased to hear from old students. They are often in touch with ex-teachers and lectures, perhaps those that have retired that may love a new ‘voluntary project’ to get their teeth stuck into.

Online Communities

Online Networking And Social Networking Sites can also be great places to meet people that have something to offer to your business. It’s not really a good plan to go into a new forum or online community with all guns blazing, asking for a mentor. Better to join up to a community that’s relevant to your business and get to know how it works first, that way you’ll be able to build relationships with people.

Business Link

Finally, don’t forget your local Business Link. This Government-funded operation has great presence across the UK and you can usually get a representative to come at speak to you at your home or office. Although they may not turn out to be a suitable mentor, they can probably advise you on other people to speak to or helpful groups to join.

Funding Your Career Change

If money concerns are holding you back from making a career change, there are many ways you can get financial support. Find out more in our article Where To Get Help With Funding.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Titch7789
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    I am thinking of doing a mechanic course. I was a painter and decorator by trade but left due to mental health. Should i do it?
    22 April 2018
  • Nurse13
    Re: Changing Career to Become a Social Worker
    I am an adult nurse with 5years post grad and would love to become a social worker how do i go about doing this
    15 April 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Training to Become a Midwife
    Rachellax - Your Question:Hi I’m qualified hairdresser nvq level 2 and a nail technician I’m looking at changing careers I left…
    11 April 2018
  • Rachellax
    Re: Training to Become a Midwife
    Hi I’m qualified hairdresser nvq level 2 and a nail technician I’m looking at changing careers I left high school with zero gcse’s…
    11 April 2018
  • Lisa
    Re: Government Help Scheme for Becoming Self-employed
    Hi I have recently became self employed and have been struggling with finances as I am a single parent…
    20 March 2018
  • Blondebearbloo
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm actually 42 yrs, only finishing my role as single mum , as daughter finishing her exams and tending her own life n career of…
    15 March 2018
  • shazy
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm an upper 6 learner at Regina mundi secondary school my dream is to become an airhostess ,but I'm not good in maths is there…
    15 March 2018
  • masheza
    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    I'm a form 4 learner at Fatima high school at Zimbabwe my dream is to become an airhostess but I'm not that good in maths is it a…
    15 March 2018
  • Doufa
    Re: Transferable Skills for a Variety of Career Options
    Hello there, I have spent the last 25 years working in the advertising industry as a creative…
    11 March 2018
  • ACareerChange
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Em - Your Question:I’m 37 and seriously contemplating a change in career from film production to automotive repair. I’ll be 38 by the time the…
    7 March 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ACareerChange website. Please read our Disclaimer.