So – mentors are out there, ready to cooperate. The trick now is to figure out which of the potential mentors is right for you. Here are some things to look for:
- Passion. First and foremost, look for people who are passionate about their work. As you visit people to interview them, look and listen for signs that they genuinely love their profession. Who wants to learn from someone who is bored and burned out?
- Expertise. Look for someone who is an expert in the profession. Perhaps you have already heard about someone with a great reputation. If not, once you narrow your search to one or two prospects, ask others in the field about them. How are they regarded?
- Teaching ability. Look for people who are good teachers. It’s not enough to be an expert in the field; your mentor needs to know how to transmit knowledge to you.
- Longevity. If possible, pick someone who has been working in the dream job for five years or more. By that time the mentor will have worked out most of the bugs in the job or business. Will have demonstrated staying power, and will have a longer – term perspective to pass on.
- Connection. Most important, pick someone with whom you ‘click’. You want to be able to ask all your questions, be entirely honest, share your fear and your excitement, feel comfortable, and have fun. In short, you want someone who makes you feel at home. If you have a choice between a more experienced mentor who is a little distant and a less experienced one who treats you like an old friend, go with the latter. You can always do a second vocation with the more experienced mentor later. Make your first one as comfortable and fun as possible.
Nowhere is it written that you have to have only one mentor. Once you’ve found your first mentor, and done your testdrive, you may decide there are things you’d like to learn or experience with someone else. A different mentor in the same profession can give you another perspective on the dream job or a chance to practice what you’ve just learned. A mentor in a related profession can give you experience that complements and extends what you’ve already done.
Most people go into their mentor relationships hoping for advice, encouragement, and maybe a few contacts, and sometimes they come away with more, long term business partnerships. Whether in formal working relationships or informal, ad hoc arrangements, dream job travelers and mentors often continue their relationships in ways that are mutually beneficial.
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of The Heroine’s Journey in Paris: Testdrive your Dreamjob
- In the Footsteps of Julia Child
- Just Do It
- The Search for Mentors
- Questions to Ask
- Telling Your Story
- Finding the Right Mentor
- A Mentor of Your Own
- Doing the Testdrive
- Questions for the Mentor
- Choose a Cheerleader
- Should I hire a Coach?
- Listening with your Heart
- Evaluating the Testdrive
- Not Your Dream Job After All?
Your Travel Guide
Story teller Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey en The Hero’s Journey and an accomplished speaker worldwide. His books and stories about the Hero’s Journey – making money doing what you love – have reached millions of creative professionals worldwide in the last decennium.