Choosing the right mentor for you

What do Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs have in common? Besides being two of the greatest tech innovators of our time, they both shared a special relationship. The two developed a close relationship in the early days of Facebook and often met to discuss the best business and management practices for the company. Jobs was Zuckerberg’s mentor.

Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or even nearing the top, having someone in your corner that you can trust and ask for advice is invaluable. The best mentors have a wealth of experience, are great listeners, and are able to give you practical and well-thought advice tailored to your professional and personal development.




Here a few things to consider when choosing the right mentor for you.

Personality and values

It’s important to ensure your personality and values align with your potential mentor. Think about who you want to be, where you want to go and whether or not their advice will get you there. It needs to be someone you respect who shares the principles you stand for. Your mentor should be someone you admire both personally and professionally; it will lead to a better relationship.



Both you and your mentor need to be clear on expectations, goals and objectives. You need to find someone who can articulate their thoughts and advice clearly, while being able to relate to you on a personal level. Look for someone who has great interpersonal skills, is a good listener, and gives open and honest feedback.



Be transparent with time commitments and expectations. People in senior positions are often extraordinarily busy, so it’s wise to outline whether you’d like to catch up monthly or once a quarter. It’s also up to you to ensure your mentor will follow through on commitments because it would be disheartening to have somebody who consistently cancelled at the last minute.


Challenge yourself

Be bold, be brave and approach somebody who will inspire and motivate you to get the best out of yourself. You need to be prepared to push the boundaries and not go into your shell when pressed or challenged. A good mentor should feel comfortable enough to call you out when you make a mistake. Take their constructive feedback on board and use it to your advantage.


Mutual relationship

It isn’t just about you. The relationship should be a two-way street. You’ll be surprised at how much your mentor wants to learn from you regardless of their success. A good mentor appreciates it when you reciprocate.


Your mentor is there to help you succeed by sharing valuable insights and knowledge they’ve gained throughout their career and personal development. Your mentor should provide you with guidance, inspiration and direction. They are there to help you problem solve and assist you through challenges. Importantly, they are also there to celebrate the wins and successes you have along the way. The relationship can be anything you want it to be, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to get what you want out of it.

We’d love to hear your experiences of good and bad mentoring, so please feel free to share below.

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