My writers group is wonderful! We meet monthly to encourage each other, share our writing and devour suggestions from the more experienced. The tips, techniques, tales of woe and joy in writing help keep us writing between meetings. We are not mentors, but coaches for each other. The relationships may develop into mentoring, which is a deep commitment to foster.
Where do you find support for what you do? Who supports your efforts? Even lonesome Charlie Brown has his Lucy to help him through life. We all need people to support our efforts. We often think mentors are only for the workplace. Not so!
A mentor is more than a friend, but someone who is ” a trusted counselor, guide, tutor or coach.” A mentor invests time and keeps you accountable.
Suggestions for Finding New Friends
MeetUps. If I search “meetups, Dallas,” I see over one million responses. I clicked on the “Urban Bohemian” group. I drilled down and noted the Bastille Day Celebration in Oak Cliff on my calendar for July 14. Most groups are free or only charge for special events.
Toastmasters. I’m a huge fan of Toastmasters. This group helps you perfect your public speaking. The group meets weekly in an unimaginable number of places: restaurants, apartment clubhouses, companies (like Ericsson and Oncor). If you click on this link, you can see the huge number of locations. Toastmasters builds your confidence in many ways and may lead to a mentoring relationship.
Professional and Civic Groups. If there is no professional association you want to join, say your alumni group, start one! Organize a group on LinkedIn or advertise a new group through MeetUps.
A friend of mine looked a long time for a new job that would fit his career change. He proudly tells how he started talking with a guy who sat next to him at a Lions Club meeting. They kept talking…and talking. Now my friend has a new title, “Part Owner,” in that business that has a hot new product. I suspect their relationship is one of mentoring each other.
Churches and other Religious Organizations. Most churches will welcome new members with open arms. And most like potlucks and making friends, as well as the more formal aspects. If your church is not very social, try a different one! Look for one which espouses your beliefs and personality. Personality is an important factor in both friendships and mentors. Many churches have groups for people in job transitions.
Politics. Attend a City Council meeting. Shake hands with the people in the room. A Chamber of Commerce meeting offers opportunities for entrepreneurs and corporate types. Other city and suburban activities offer a plethora of activities and volunteer opportunities.
Hobbies. What do you do in your spare time? Hard to tell whom you’ll meet in a class for woodworking or cooking. You may be surprised when you meet the chef in the class who can assist you with that cookbook or woodworking book you want to write.
Social Media. Connect with people with similar interests. People like to help each other. The relationships on social media may not become mentors, but people you discover online can certainly answer questions to help you move forward.
Add a New Friend Regularly
Think about adding new friends. Find avenues to “adopt” new friends into your network. You never know when you may meet someone who can make a significant difference in your life, as a friend or mentor.
Ruth Glover wrote MORE than a Paycheck: Inspiration & Tools for Career Change, which is now, by popular demand, available in e-book formats. The book is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and I-Books.