Ways to Find a Mentor as a Creative
Careerwise, being creative covers a wide range of careers and professions that involve using one’s imagination, artistic skills, and innovative thinking to create. Regardless of whether you design stylish wood furniture or write compelling stories, this isn’t an easy career choice and many challenges come with building a creative career such as financial instability, creative block, constant rejection, fierce competition, and a lack of support.
Luckily, there are ways to make things easier and increase the chances of a fulfilling creative career, including having a mentor. Unfortunately, while many people agree on the benefits of having one only a small percentage do. So here are some tips for finding your very own mentor.
Participate in Online Communities
One of the simplest ways to find a mentor is by participating in online communities. Why? Online communities typically revolve around specific topics or interests, which means that you can find a mentor who shares your passion in specific areas or industries. Moreover, these communities give you access to a large pool of experienced people from all over the world.
Start by identifying online communities that are relevant to you whether that’s online forums, social media groups, or networking platforms like LinkedIn. Then, be vocal in discussions so that you can establish yourself as an engaged member of the community as this will make it easier to connect with potential mentors. Simply keep an eye out for members of the community who have experience or expertise in areas that you are interested in(reading posts or comments), and message them directly introducing yourself and expressing interest in their work.
Set Up Google Alerts for Mentorship Programs
Countless companies, schools, and organizations offer mentorship programs as a way to scout for talent so one of the easiest ways to find a mentor is by setting up Google alerts.
When setting up alerts, you want to use relevant keywords like “creative mentorship,” “mentorship programs for artists,” or the names of specific schools, companies, or organizations that offer mentorship programs. If you get too many irrelevant results, you can refine your search by using Boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT to create more specific search queries. For example “creative mentorship” AND “arts organization” to specifically find organizations that offer mentorship programs for creatives.
Remember to regularly adjust your search criteria as your interests and goals evolve.
Attend Conferences and Workshops
The old-fashioned way of meeting a potential mentor at a conference or workshop still works. While not as convenient, conferences and workshops often attract industry leaders and experts with valuable insights. Plus face-to-face interactions mean getting a better sense of someone’s personality as well as an easier way to build real rapport.
Before attending such events, spend some time on a quick search of the speakers, panelists, and attendees for any potential mentors. Then, participate actively in activities and discussions, as this may attract potential mentors. If not, approach potential mentors with an open and friendly attitude to show interest in their work as well as for advice and guidance.
As you follow these tips to find a mentor who can give you support and guidance to achieve your creative career goals, keep in mind that mentorship is a two-way street. The best mentorship relationships are built on mutual respect and trust.