What Is a Mentor?

There are many adults who would love to help you in choosing your career path. Keep in mind that many people don’t finish their working lives in the same careers that they started out of high school, college, or other job training.

Please consider all of the following people when searching for an advisor and/or mentor: parents, older siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, school counselors, clergy, parents’ friends, and coaches.

Of course, if you have an interest in a specific career, we encourage you to reach out to anyone in your community who is in that career. You might be surprised how enthusiastic some people will be in sharing with you, all the good and bad things about their occupation, and how willing they will be to answer your questions. Their experience can help you avoid pitfalls, and learn to choose what actions or paths are valuable, and (maybe more importantly) those that are not helpful or valuable.

Just Google the occupation and your city to get started finding some help from a local person in that field. If you can email, great ... do it! If not, you will need to take the leap, and go to the office, shop, job site, or other location, and ask if they would be willing to talk to you.

Although you may have no interest in sales, you must learn to be a salesperson in order to get the best out of your career and your personal life. Just think about it: when you meet a potential new friend, you are "selling" yourself to them, in the hope that they will, in fact, like what you have to offer, in terms of friendship. In looking for a mentor, or looking for a job, you will need to develop good "sales techniques" to succeed.

One common phrase used is sales is "You have to knock on 100 doors to get one answer." Of course, I wouldn't suspect that you need to make that many contacts to find advice from someone in your career of interest, but you may not hit gold with the first, or even the second try. The key is not to be fearful, and never give up.

Would you like to request a mentor?

NOTE to Mentors/Job Shadowing Volunteers

Although we cannot directly provide mentors for our youth, the Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) has a volunteer program through which you can mentor students, or offer Job Shadowing. We would be happy to meet with you, explain and complete the AUSD Volunteer Forms, and schedule the associated background screening in consultation with you.