No B.S. Coaching Advice

Finding a Mentor

Finding a Mentor | Career Angles

How do you know you’re ready for a mentor? How do you find one? That’s what I cover in this video.


Are you trying to find a mentor to help you grow professionally? I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. And I received an article from a man named Ken Coleman, who works for Dave Ramsey, if you know that name.  And Coleman put out an article about steps to finding a mentor. I thought it was terrific, I thought I would share a quick summary of it. His web address is And he has other great material on his site, and a very good radio show.

So he starts off by saying mentoring is pretty common. And, for example, he says Harry Potter had a mentor in Dumbledore and Obi Wan Kenobi, mentored Luke Skywalker. We’re used to the idea of mentoring for other people, but not for ourselves. So how do you find someone?

He starts off with the premise of make sure you’re ready to be mentored, because, you know, he can waste someone’s time. And in my case, money, if you’re looking for a mentor, and you’re not clear about what you want. So he encourages us focus on growth. The most important signal that you’re ready for a mentor is if you’re teachable. There are many people who can provide that kind of advice beyond simply a person because you can get it from podcasts, reading, teaming up with your friends, learning from others, lots of things. But the relationship with a mentor is special.


Determine your goals is his second point. What do you want to get out of the mentor relationship? Are you looking for someone that can help you become a better spouse or parent? Do you need growth in your career so you can land the promotion? What are you looking for?

Make a clear plan. Is this a long term relationship or do you want to have this mentoring over a finite period of time. Now, choose the right person to mentor you. And that’s really where it becomes complicated.

So he suggests, paint a picture of where you’d like to be. And he says, 20 years. I encourage five, then 10, and daydream a little bit. How do you want your job to be at that time? What about your family? Find someone who’s living the life that you want to live.

Next, identify the important qualities of a mentor. They should be accomplished. They’re understanding. They’re caring. Make a list of people that you know. So, he encouraged you, encourages you to take out a pen and paper (okay, you can take out your iPad, or your laptop, your phone), and scroll through your phone contacts, your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn connections, and see if there’s someone who fits the bill for you.

And then from there, he says, network the right way with people you trust to suggest other names. Your future mentor might not be in your immediate circle, but they could be one introduction away.

Next, put yourself out there and ask. People are afraid to ask, he points out. He’s absolutely right. There’s a risk involved,. You could get turned down. So what? There’s someone else who can help you. And the idea should be to get to know one another first. There’s nothing quite as awkward as committing to a relationship and then changing your mind, he points out.

Ask. That’s his next step. There’s no proven way to ask someone to mentor you. You just might need to be honest, kind, respectful, and helpful. Excellent points! Be direct in your communications. I’m going to add in don’t beat around the bush. Describe where it is you want to grow, what your goals are, specific questions or problems you’re facing, and the reasons why you think this person would be a good fit.

And then from there, he encourages you to be a good mentee. Ask for feedback. Make it clear that you’re open to the mentor’s thoughts and advice on the topics that you discuss and look for someone who you can mentor because you should aspire to be a mentor yourself and pass the torch on to someone else who’s looking for help.

Make connections that count in every area of your life. Meeting the right people is important. And as such, it’s important for you to start thinking of people who you can give back to just as this person has given to you.

Hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman, my website is There’s a lot there that can help you with your career, your job search, hiring more effectively, managing leading. If you’re interested in my mentoring you, scheduled time for our first session with me. Yes, I do charge for mentoring. And I’d love to help you in your development.

Lastly, connect with me on LinkedIn at Hope you have a terrific day and be great! Take care!



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunterand is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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