I have a confession. I used to be jealous of a ton of friends and colleagues. You see, I grew up in Toledo, Ohio - moved to NYC, London, Boston. I am a first generation college grad. So, in short, I didn't know anyone who could take me under their wing and mentor me to any level of success. And, I confess I saw MANY people who had GREAT mentors. I thought they got opportunities I didn't, got skills developed that I didn't, and figured out easier paths to success than I - just because they had great mentors.
Now heres the thing - I was kinda right in that assessment. BUT... it was my own dang fault that I didn't have one too! The control is ALWAYS yours - you just need to figure that out. Mentors can make ALL the difference! Most people would be honored and LOVE to mentor you - if you just asked and recruited them. You see, it was MY job to find a mentor. Just because I wasn't born to it doesn't mean that I couldn't recruit one. In fact I eventually did. In fact I recruited many. And these friends/mentors have helped guide me to greater success than that which I would have reached on my own.
AND YOU CAN GET A GREAT MENTOR TOO. Here’s a couple tips on how: 1) look for someone who has achieved something you aspire to; 2) ideally try to not have them work for the same company as you --(your boss will never say 'the best move is to leave here' and a senior person that is not your boss may cause political problems 3) try to see if you know someone who can introduce you to the mentor candidate but, if not, don’t be afraid to cold call them 4) learn a lot about their background - easy in the age of the internet - ask them to meet for 10 minutes and then tell them how you admire what they accomplished, explain what you are doing and what you aspire to and how it relates, and ask them if they might agree to mentor you - to be available for counsel and advice from time to time as you find your way in the world. You will be amazed how easy it might be. And the right mentors will open your eyes to paths & opportunities you might not see. The right mentor will help you navigate the pitfalls and downsides that will inevitably happen.
But YOU need to recruit THEM. People are giving and helpful and will be flattered if you ask, but they are also busy and respectful of other peoples privacy. It is unlikley someone will cold call you and ask to be your mentor. But you can certainly do the reverse. You might bring greater reward to that person’s life, and you certainly will increase likelihood of worklife success in yours!
Good luck - and get started. What’s the worst that can possibly happen? They say 'no'? C'mon…. we are all tough enough to deal with 'nos' right? And I bet ya dollars to donuts that the first answer you get is actually… YES!!!