Luke Mocke, founder of Mentorli, shares his insights about how to find the right mentor for any job. Being born in South Africa in 1991, the year Apartheid ended, Mocke understands what it means to work to bring people together. Through his university experience, he was able to find great mentors to help him in his educational journey and in finding a job. He founded Mentorli as a way to give back by helping students, young professionals, and anyone seeking a new job to connect with the people they need in order to acquire their dream job.
Fit is everything when it comes to enjoying and retaining a job. Most earnest job seekers fall into the pitfall of what Mocke calls the “post and pray” method. “[People] throw their resume to the wind and hope someone catches it… they end up [interviewing] so-so and land at a company that isn’t their top choice.” This simple blunder will keep applicants from finding the meaningful work they desire. Mocke recommends making a checklist in order to escape this trap.
“Think deeply about those things you want. Then list a bunch of criteria that matter a lot to you. Do you want this? Can you sacrifice that? Make a wish list.” Importantly, the wish list needs to be very specific. Simply saying “I want a job in marketing” is not enough. The longer and more specific the list is, the easier it will be to whittle down the companies and positions to apply for. Once the list of companies to apply to has been narrowed it is time to reach out and find mentors.
According to Mocke, the best way to land a job is to find a mentor. Even the most skilled person in the world will struggle to find a job if they can’t make the right connections. These connections can take many forms, from relatives and old college friends, to a new LinkedIn connection or a former client. Whatever the connection may be, “reach out to mentors at these companies and learn what it is really like to work there. Ask them about culture. Ask them about their role. Figure out if this is something that really interests you.” At this point, a decision can be made about which positions to apply for.
After making a choice, go back to those mentors and ask them for a referral. If a real relationship has been built, that mentor is more than likely going to provide it. According to Mocke, “Getting mentored and referred into a job makes you 15x more likely to get it.” That is an enviable advantage to have. Building these relationships before landing the job also helps with retention. Having a strong connection to the company through a mentor will help new hires stay on for the long haul.
Finding mentors and applying for jobs after deliberate thought will not only significantly increase the odds of getting the job, but also greatly increase work satisfaction. In the social media age, and with the advent of companies like Mentorli, it has never been easier to establish connections with people up and down the business ladder in large and small companies. If an applicant can develop a meaningful relationship with the right mentor, their dream job will soon become reality.
To learn more about finding the perfect job for you, listen to the internationalHub podcast with Luke Mocke here.