5 Tips to Finding Mentors When You’re Young, Hungry, and Remote

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5 Tips to Finding Mentors When You're Young, Hungry, and Remote

Consider this: 79% of millennials—those first establishing their careers—think a mentor is crucial to career success.

According to FreshBooks, mentors aren’t just for those that work full-time. With 42% of the next wave of independent workers projected to be millennials, it’s more important than ever for freelancers just starting out to have experienced guidance.

Here are non-traditional ways freelancers can find mentors:

1. Word of Mouth

Get coffee with more established freelancers and ask them to connect you to the movers and shakers of their fields. A little networking goes a long way. In fact, 42% of people preparing to become full-time freelancers sought advice from other entrepreneurs before going out on their own in 2017.

2. LinkedIn Outreach

This isn’t just for finding potential clients. Connect to those whose content you admire, and send them a note asking for advice. People are more than happy to help those starting out in their careers, even if they just send you a short note back with a couple tips.

3. Meetup Groups

Find groups online that connect young professionals in your career field. Besides being good networking opportunities, these events often provide an organic scenario to meet a mentor.

4. Paid Mentoring

If you have the budget, many experienced freelancers offer paid mentoring services or business consulting sessions. While this might lead to a shorter-term relationship, it’s a great way to get a couple pieces of advice you can implement right away.

5. Past Professors

If you’re just starting your career, consider asking past teachers to keep sharing their wisdom. Not only do they have relevant experience—but their profession has also made them pros at imparting it!

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Matt Baker is VP of Strategy Planning at FreshBooks. He focuses on corporate strategy and market research. Prior to FreshBooks, Baker was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company and a senior strategist at Google. He is also a mentor to multiple millennials at FreshBooks and, outside of the office, he volunteers his time helping people study for their GEDs.