Mentors can make your career. A mentor is provides career advice, candid and constructive feedback and advocacy when opportunities for which you're a fit arise.
1. The Fairygodboss community
You're already in a great place to look for a mentor. The Fairygodboss community is full of millions of women — working women, women hunting for jobs, women looking to hire other women and even non-working women who still come to Fairygodboss to help them navigate everything from graduating college to pregnancy to parenting. Our community board at Fairygodboss is a safe space for you to post your questions, career concerns, exciting job news and more — and get the thoughts, opinions and advice from other like-minded women.
While you can certainly post a question about mentors on the community board (like others have done!), you can also create a professional profile on Fairygodboss, engage with other women who participate on our platform and start to organically establish rapport with others who, you never know, could become your mentor(s) or introduce you to a mentor down the line. And, if you're not looking for a long-term mentor, you can still rest assured that you have a network of supporters who are there to answer your questions.
2. Women's career groups on Facebook
Women's career groups on Facebook are wonderful ways to connect with other like-minded women in your field. While there are certainly more generalized groups for all professional women on Facebook, there are also specific groups for various industries. For example, if you're a teacher, you might be interested in joining groups for teachers. If you're a writer, you might be interested in joining groups like for creatives. And, if you work in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), you might be interested in joining groups for women in your field. In fact, if you work in any male-dominated industry, there are groups for you.
Women who are looking for jobs also have options. College graduates, in particular, who are looking for their first jobs might be interested in joining groups for other graduates. Likewise, women who are working parents also have support groups to which they can turn on Facebook.
All you need to do is log onto Facebook and type in your field or key terms like "women's professional group" or "working women" and search networks under groups. You're bound to find something that sparks your interest. And, by engaging with these groups, you're bound to find other likeminded women, one or some of whom may ultimately become or introduce you to a mentor.
3. LinkedIn networks
LinkedIn's sole purpose is to connect professionals who use the platform to, largely, to network. While LinkedIn also boasts an impressive and easy-to-use job board, as well as sound career advice articles, it's primarily a place to build your professional brand and expand your professional network. By making an up-to-date profile — replete with your work experiences, skills, education history, volunteering experiences and interests — you can garner the attention of mentors looking to work with dedicated career enthusiasts like you. You can also use the platform to search for mentors by looking up companies for which you'd love to work, leaders who you admire and professional organizations and groups in which you're involved. It's easy to connect with others on LinkedIn by sending a simple direct message and inquiring about talking more over coffee or an informational interview of some kind.
There's a whole host of professional women's organizations all across the country. (Find our top favorite women's organizations here!) Again, there are more general professional organizations for women that you can join, such as National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and National Organization for Women (NOW). But there are also more specific professional organizations dedicated to women in specific fields that you can also join. For example, if you work in STEM, you might be interested in joining Women in Technology International (WITI). And, if you're a journalist, you might be interested in joining Association for Women in Communications (AWC).
5. Your College/University alumni network
Don't forget about your college or university network (if you did indeed go to college or university!). The chances are that your school has some sort of alumni network that may host annual events like dinners and luncheons where you can mingle with other professionals who also graduated from the same school. You already have so much in common with these people, since you have similar educational backgrounds, so this is an ideal place to find a mentor who may have already paved a path for you.
6. Career networking apps
Career networking apps are a thing of the future, and they're growing in popularity. As more and more people turn to their mobile devices to handle pretty much everything (from getting groceries delivered and sending laundry out to dating and house hunting), it's no surprise that there are career networking apps cropping up, too. Apps such as Shapr and LetsLunch pair you with other professionals in your field with whom you can brainstorm and off whom you can bounce ideas.
7. Meetup groups
Meetup is a wonderful way to meet people with similar interests and passions as you. While it's ideal for making new friends (especially for if/when you move to a new city or travel solo!), it's also ideal for finding mentors. Through apps like Meetup, you can find networking opportunities like conferences, talks, luncheons, dinners, happy hours and more with people who mostly attend voluntarily (and sometimes pay to be there, though many Meetups are free!). Make a profile and start searching Meetup groups that interest you. Your best bet in finding a mentor is finding a Meetup group that meets regularly so you can build relationships with the other professionals who attend.