Being able to work remotely has gone mainstream in a new way, especially with the ability to expand options when finding mentors. Remote workers have been around for a while, but you’ll find many who’ve taken it to new levels recently, using newer technologies and a whole lot of practicality.
Those who’ve made it work are starting to share what they’ve learned with others. Finding these mentors, though, isn’t always as easy as just doing a Google search. You should do a bit more research and vet them to make sure you’re getting someone reliable and not a phony.
A real mentor won’t be self-centered or charge you for their services. Here’s four ways to go about finding the right one.
1. Make it clear you’re looking for a mentor
It’s time to put social media to good use for a change by putting it out into the digital universe you’re looking for a remote work mentor. Maybe you want to meet a mentor in person or just talk online. Either way, nobody will know you want to work with one until you say so on your social media account or through an email blast.
Even public message boards for certain industries are still around, making them suitable to ask for advice on finding a mentor.
With a lot of mentors out there, it’s likely you’ll get a response within a reasonable time. Industry-specific social accounts or message boards are likely where these mentors hang out.
Thanks to internal messaging at some of these places, you can make arrangements with your mentor privately.
2. Interview your mentor before you commit
If you look at tweets on Twitter related to remote work, you’ll discover many people are using mentors now. Some of those people say they wouldn’t have known how to succeed at it without mentoring.
What’s most important is to interview them and find out what they’ve done to make working from home a happy endeavor. Have they mastered the art of removing all distractions while still having domestic bliss?
Also ask them about the technologies they’re using and what they’ve done to differentiate themselves from what everyone else does. Despite remote jobs being popular, not everyone has the aptitude for it due to the temptations of being at home.
The more you can dig into what they’ve done with empirical evidence, the more you’ll learn from them to eliminate any mistakes using trial and error.
3. Ask what you need to learn from them
Every remote work situation is going to be different based on what one wants out of it. Virtually any type of career is possible now in remote environments, making each case unique in what one needs to stay successful.
Don’t be afraid to ask the mentor what you need to learn so you can determine if they fit your criteria. They don’t necessarily have to be specific to an industry, though it does help to determine what kind of direction to go in.
Keep in mind some mentors might be too busy at the moment to donate their time to help you. Respect their schedule and don’t try to take advantage of their own time without making sure they aren’t working with others first.
4. Give your mentor credit
Many experts on finding a remote work mentor remind you to give your mentor credit after they work with you as a form of thanks. You can easily do this through your social media accounts, or even on your business’s website.
Always give credit where it’s due since they’ll often return the favor again. Finding a mentor you can keep consulting with for years will keep your remote work job going strong without bumps in the road.
It also pays to have several mentors if you can to get second or third opinions when dealing with a work-at-home problem.