Saturday, April 21, 2012
Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1138: How do I choose a mentor?
The answer: Not as carefully as you may think.
Remember, when I'm suggesting you pursue mentors, I'm referring to "business advice and guidance" mentors. Everyone who has reached some level of success can give you new information. You can even learn from unsuccessful people (though it's not the most strategic way to go). I love to watch the crowd swarm the guest who spoke at a Q&A and see all the mistakes people make.
Therefore, if you can learn form the good and the bad, anyone can be a potential mentor. That said, you'll get to where you want to be faster, if you're strategic in who you choose. The mistake that most people make, is getting too caught up with choosing the perfect mentors. This is a waste of time. Set a goal to choose a specific number of mentors by a specific date and if by that date you're 2 people short, close your eyes, open a directory, and point out 2 names.
Helpful tips for choosing mentors (yes, I suggest you get MANY):
1. Choose people who have taken a path you'd like to emulate
2. Choose people who know the types of people who hire you
3. Choose people who hire people who do what you do
4. Choose people you've seen do Q&As or volunteer somewhere (that means they like to give back)
5. It's okay to go after A-listers AND have some "safe-schools" (people who will likely say yes)
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