A lot of professionals from various fields credit their success not just to their efforts, but also to their mentors. At many stages in their journey, they encountered difficult times that could have made them give up on working towards their goals. Along the way, however, they found people who were once in their shoes, and extended their helping hand that led these professionals to where they want to be.
This shows that when you are aiming for success in different areas of your life, you do not have to go through it alone. Having a good web design mentor on your side can help you avoid common mistakes, identify solutions to your most pressing problems, and provide you with valuable advice, guidance and connections that will empower you to go for your goals.
Of course, as with all good things in life, a good mentor is not easy to come by. If you have an idea how to go about the process, however, finding and connecting with someone who has a similar path as you can become more manageable. As such, we have come up with this simple guide on how to find a mentor online to get your search started.
Be clear about what you want. Before you start seeking out a web design mentor, it’s a good idea to clarify your expectations from the mentoring relationship and the role you want your mentor to play in your development. Do you want someone who can teach you the ropes of an industry or job, assist you in moving your career forward, or help enhance your skills set? Being clear about your objectives, goals and expectations will make it easier to find a mentor who can provide the kind of support you require. This will ensure that you will be able to establish a professional relationship that will benefit your goals.
Search outside your web design field. Good mentors are everywhere, so consider looking outside your network or current place of work. Although it will definitely be much easier to have a mentor within your field, finding one outside your field can actually bring amazing benefits. From being aware of other professions and how they overlap with yours, to developing transferable skills that you can apply to different situations, to getting introduced to a new set of contacts.
Try cold outreach. When you need to establish a connection with a professional you saw online or with someone you admire from afar, a cold email is said to be one of the most effective ways to introduce yourself. When doing this, take the time to craft your message carefully. Develop a compelling but short subject line to hook them from the get-go. Provide an authentic praise and start mentioning specifics about their work that interests you so they know you did your research. Finally, ask for what you want in a nice way, end your email with a thank you and call-to-action, and make sure there is a way for them to find and follow up with you by adding your contact details at the bottom of your email.
Use social media. Social media helps people make and maintain connections wherever they are in the world. That’s what makes it a suitable tool for finding mentors. Take advantage of the features baked into different social platforms. Use keywords and hashtags to conduct targeted search. Doing so will allow you to filter based on your preferred criteria for the type of mentor you are looking for. You can also use social media to find out more about prospective mentors, including their accomplishments, interests, activities they engage in, as well as their engagements and authenticity.
A word of advice: When using social media to find a web design mentor, take time before pitching your request to them. Ideally, you want to warm up your leads by engaging with them for a few weeks. Follow them, like and share their posts, retweet them, or comment on their posts. Doing these things can help increase the chances of a professional accepting you as a mentee.
Join a mentorship platform. You can find hundreds of platforms online that offer mentorship opportunities. Many of them will allow you to connect with a professional in your industry. Speedy Mentors is a good example of that platform, especially if you aspire to work in the tech field or are already involved in it. One of the main benefits of the platform is that it puts both mentors and mentees in control of who they want to work with. Also, mentors can set the price of their mentorship service, while mentees can seek for mentors based on their budget.
Being part of a mentorship platform is an excellent option if you are struggling on how to find a web design mentor online. Aside from having a number of choices, it’s possible to get in touch with a mentor on demand. With that, you can easily resolve an immediate problem without having a long-term commitment.
Keep in mind that finding a good mentor is just half the battle. If you want the mentoring relationship to work and get the most out of the engagement, you and your mentor should have clear expectations and goals and continuously find ways to make each session engaging and interesting. Mutual respect should also be exercised, along with accountability.