Okay okay, so maybe not the ONE thing you need, I mean, coffee is way up there too.
But what does every millennial need that most don’t go after? A person in their lives like our show’s guest Sue Wigston.
A person who’s older, wiser, kinder, stronger, funnier, and awesomer than we are.
Every working millennial needs a mentor.
Now hear me clearly- you can’t expect one mentor to be good across all areas of your life. You are setting yourself up to be let down if you expect one person to have all the answers to all your 20-something wonderings. Find someone you admire for their career, another someone who can advise you on your finances, and a different someone who can help you with your spirituality or relationships or emotional issues from not being chosen for the musical in grade 3.
How do you find a mentor? Find someone farther along doing the thing you want to do, only with more experience. Remember, they don’t need to check off every box of all your needs for development, just find someone who checks off one or two.
In your working life, this is maybe not going to be your boss (gets a bit messy to mix boss with mentor sometimes, but not always), but perhaps a colleague who’s been in the role a little longer than you, or someone who would be the boss in your role if you worked at a different organization doing the same job, or someone within your workplace that seems highly respected overall but doesn’t necessarily do the same job as you.
How do you get them to agree to be your mentor? Don’t ask them that straight away. It gets weird. First, complement them on something you admire about them. Then ask if you can buy them coffee or lunch at their convenience to ask them a few questions about the thing you admire about them, or about how they got to where they are in their career from when they were in your position. If you’re flexible on time and place, almost anyone will agree to this.
If you click and it works, ask them again a few months later when you have a few more qusetions or things in your work you’d like to process. That’s basically all it is.
From there, you’ll likely find some nuggets of insight you’ll take into your whole career if you’ve got a desire to actually learn from them. You’ll find a cheerleader for you in your work, and someone to help you towards your own successes in the workplace by avoiding some common mistakes other people make when young in their careers when they don’t listen to the wisdom of someone who’s gone before them.
Good luck finding your own Sue! I hope she likes coffee. 🙂