Do You Have A Mentor Yet?
Finding a mentor is an important step in growing your career in the fashion industry. Yes, we all need to start at the bottom. However, there is no reason you should make the same mistakes as your predecessors. Finding a great mentor that will help guide you through the minefields will significantly fast-track your career. In this article, I will show you how to find the right mentor for you, what to look for, and how to create this relationship.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of designing a fashionable career in just one post! This article is part of an 8 part Fashionable Career Planning Series. If you want to learn how you can build a successful career in the fashion industry check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page.
What are the benefits of having a mentor?
There are several benefits to having a mentor in your life. Below are the most important reasons.
- You can learn from their mistakes and their wisdom
- They can help make introductions
- Learn best practices from them
How Do I Find A Mentor?
The biggest mistake people make is thinking that their mentor has to be a high level, aspirational figure whom they’ve never met. The truth is you will likely have several different mentors throughout your career. You will need to gain insight and wisdom from different people at different levels as your career progresses.
Look first at inspiring people you are already connected with via your current or past jobs, or through trade groups and organizations you belong to. This is important because your mentor needs to know your current capabilities in order to give you relevant feedback. It should be a person whom you have already demonstrated your character, abilities and work ethic. They will be more willing to want to help coach you.
Many large-scale companies offer mentorship programs as well. However, you should still look for someone you know from inside your organization.
The Person You Choose To Reach Out Yo Should Pose The Following Qualities:
- They should be someone you know. Do not ask a stranger!
- You should respect and admire them for their work, business acumen, and vision.
- They should be several steps ahead of you in their career path so that they can offer you guidance.
- Have time to dedicate to helping you.
Why Should They Mentor You?
Mentoring works both ways. The mentor needs to get something out of this relationship as well. Usually, they get satisfaction out of helping others achieve their goals. Mentoring high achievers also make them look good as a leader.
When looking for a mentor ask yourself first if you are the type of person they would want to take time to help nurture? Are you eager to learn & willing to make changes using their suggestions? You should already be actively building your career and demonstrating leadership and growth potential. This will make you a high-quality candidate that the mentor will want to spend time with.
How Do You Ask Someone To Be Your Mentor?
This is the most common question. First, you need to be super clear about what you are asking them to do.
Once you have decided on the person (s) you want to ask to be your mentor schedule an initial meeting with them. Ask them for an hour of their time. Meeting face to face will allow them to address any questions or concerns they might have.
- Clearly, describe the type of guidance you are looking for.
- Explain why you would like to work with them specifically and what you hope to get out of it.
- Suggest a reasonable amount of time you feel you will need and how often.
- Confirm your willingness to put in the work and follow through on their suggestions.
- Acknowledge and respect their time.
The more you can make a compelling case for why they should work with you the easier it will be for your potential mentor to say yes.
- Make a list of people you admire who are in your current network.
- Decide who on this list you would get the most benefit out of working with.
- Schedule a meeting with them to do the ask.
Fashionable Career Planning Series
If you, or someone you know, want to learn how to build a successful fashion career you can read the entire series here. Learn how to plan your goals and keep your career on track.
- How To Set SMART Goals For A Career In The Fashion Industry
- How To Write SPRINT Goals For A Career In The Fashion Industry
- Top 10 Ways To Keep Your Career On Track
- How To Find A Mentor In The Fashion Industry
- Top 5 Ways To Build A Great Reputation In The Fashion Industry
- What’s In A Fashion Job Title?
- How To Dress For The Job You Want In The Fashion Industry
- Should You Specialize In The Fashion Industry?