Find a Mentor this Spring
Spring is a time of the year when nature wakes up and everything turns green. It’s a season of new energy, more daylight hours, and warm sunshine. Taking on a new adventure in the spring is good for the spirit and keeps us moving forward. Finding a mentor may be your sweet-spot for ‘waking up’ to new possibilities this spring.
What Exactly is a Mentor?
When I think of a mentor, I immediately think of a coach, supporter, friend. Mentors can be family members, a spouse, a parent, a cousin, or they can be someone you look up to but don’t know well at first. Mentors are listeners, teachers, encouragers, and helpers. They are normally unselfish people who shine a spotlight on you, not themselves. Mentors come from all age groups, genders, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and educational levels. Mentors are often people with wisdom and experiences they want to share.
What are the Advantages of Having a Mentor?
Trying to figure out how to turn your interests into career goals isn’t always easy. Trying to decide how to reach your career goals or to pay for the education that’s needed isn’t always fun. Trying to get everything in line for the next year of your life isn’t always clear. This is where a mentor can help. Talking to a good listener who has your success in mind always helps with reasoning out dilemmas like these.
How Can I Find a Mentor?
With interest in nutrition science, there are many places to find a mentor. Here are a few:
- Healthcare Mentor – Contact a local hospital or Contact a local retirement community with long term care facility. Ask for the Food Services or Nutritional Services Director.
- Business Mentor – Contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Ask for the Career Coaching leader or the names of specific business members who provide food and nutrition services.
- Hospitality Industry Mentor – Contact a local hotel, spa, or resort. Ask for the food and nutrition services leaders.
- Culinary Mentor – Contact a local, well-respected restaurant, food truck, or café. Ask for the owner or manager.
How Can I Succeed with a Mentor?
Mentors will be excited to get to know you and help you out. They enjoy chatting, having a cup of coffee/tea together, trouble-shooting with you, and sharing their experiences that relate to your goals. As you get to know your mentor, be sure to evaluate if it’s a good match for you. If not so much then thank the mentor and try choosing again. Remember – there are many ways to network including with a mentor. Here are 7 ways to succeed with a mentor:
7 Ways to Succeed with Your Mentor
- Meet on a regular schedule such as once a month, by phone or in person
- Ask your mentor to help you set up ‘milestones’ which are key goal steps
- Follow-up with your mentor when you reach a ‘milestone’ by phone or email
- Bring a list of questions to all your meetings to keep the conversation moving along
- Take notes about what you learn from your mentor meetings
- Ask your mentor if they belong to a professional organization and if you could join her/him as a guest at the next get-together
- Thank your mentor every meeting and let him/her know how much you appreciate their advice
Who comes to mind as a mentor to help you move forward in a nutrition science niche?