Career

2 min

Secret places to find tech mentors online, part 1

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Do you have a mentor?

If you don’t - don’t worry, you’re not alone.

this is where i'd show off my mentor, if i had one

In today’s email, I’ll share 2 places where you can find mentors.

Why you need a mentor

Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago, I was exploring different career paths. I found a mentor who would provide me mentorship in exchange for me writing a few blog articles for them per week.

I pushed for regular mentorship calls where we could discuss my goals, but the mentor was very hands-off and meetings were not productive. I ended up only having 2-3 mentorship calls, and felt like I learned nothing from the experience. I felt exploited for free labour - which is part of the reason I’m against unpaid internships.

It almost made me give up on finding mentors…almost. 

Until a year later.

when you don't know what you're doing because you don't have a mentor to guide you. picture of a monkey looking away

A year had passed since the disastrous mentorship experience. I was now learning UX design. I had no idea what I was doing - I took a few courses, but never got the chance to apply what I learned.

Then I found a UX mentor. And this wasn’t a one-time mentorship call, either. We would check-in regularly every few weeks. She gave me amazing feedback to improve and pushed me to apply everything I learned - from creating service blueprints to wireframes to usability testing.

have you used service blueprints?

I learned so much from that experience - things I still apply to my work today.

Having mentors made me feel more confident in my skills. My mentor also supported me throughout the job search process, so I never felt alone.

So here are the reasons you should find a mentor:

✅ Learn and improve faster

✅ Get clarity on what you should do

✅ Feel inspired and motivated to reach your goals

A MESSAGE FROM ENTRYLEVEL

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Learn with EntryLevel.net, get a portfolio, and get certified.

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Use code LEVELUP10 to get 10% off - code expires Saturday, Feb 11. 

How to find a mentor

Think about your ideal mentor. Where do they hang out? What’s their preferred form of communication?

Okay, it kinda feels like I’m doing the Dream Buyer Analysis here (taught in EntryLevel’s Growth/Digital Marketing program) - but you get the point. These questions help you empathize with your future mentor so you can better find and communicate with them.

questions to ask your mentor include where they hang out, where they get information, what their biggest frustrations and challenges are, their preferred form of communication, the exact phrases and language they use, what a day in their life looks like, and what makes them happy.

Image from EntryLevel’s Growth/Digital Marketing cheat sheet.

When you answer these questions to learn more about your dream mentor, you’re essentially figuring out your own goals. Your mentor should be where you want to be in 5 years, so they can help you reverse-engineer the path to get there.

(We talked about this reverse-engineering mentorship process in our recent Product Design @ Spotify event - you can find the event recap here.)

After you’ve answered these questions, start your search for your ideal mentor. Here are some places you can look.

1. Leverage engaged communities like Kernal

I LOVE Kernal. Their email newsletter is the only one I read every week (besides this one, of course).

With Kernal, you can find others passionate about the tech and startup space. It’s super easy to have discussions there and ask for help. They often host “Ask Me Anything” events with industry experts, where you can learn a lot.

To search for specific mentors to contact, check out the member directory.

Kernal members list

You can also go to discussions → requests and make a post asking for help - but please keep your posts related to tech startups, and be as specific as possible about what mentorship you need. 

Kernal requests tab

Join here using our unique link (and skip the waitlist): https://kern.al/register?invitecode=ENTRYLEVEL

2. Use Prowess (for Product Managers)

I found out about this resource from Christiana, one of EntryLevel’s Product Management students.

She used Prowess to connect with expert Product Managers and ask them questions. There are lots of resources available on the platform, and you can even join group projects with others.

Prowess platform screenshot

Use Christiana’s invite code here: www.showprowess.com/professional-registration?referrer=christianachinedu28

More resources next week

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of where to find tech mentors online.

In the meantime, here are some value-packed mentorship articles to check out:

Top 4 tips to connect with anyone on LinkedIn

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Finding Mentors

5 Types of Mentors that helped me go from intern to CEO


Date originally published:
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 07:00:00 +0000
Date last updated:
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