3 Tips For Finding A Mentor
Philadelphia Eagles VP of Marketing Jen Kavanagh shares her best tips for finding a mentor.
By Elyse Notarianni

When people just starting out in the workforce ask for career advice, they’re almost always met with one universal statement: Find a good mentor. Which, many people come to find, is much easier said than done. 

SJ Mag’s Elyse Notarianni and Klein Aleardi talk with Jen Kavanagh, VP of Marketing and Media for the Philadelphia Eagles, about her tips for finding a mentor. 

1. It doesn’t have to be as formal as you’d think.

“I think we have this misconception that mentorship is something that requires a very deep investment over a very long period of time,” says Kavanagh. “So often, there’s this feeling of, ‘I’m missing something,’ or ‘I’ve been left out.’”

But, she says, that’s not always the case. Some people may have long-standing mentors that they’ve known and formed a relationship with for years, but that’s not as much of the norm as it may seem. Instead, Kavanagh recommends finding “micro-mentors.” 

“These are people that you can tap into at key moments because their experience may be relevant to the thing you’re trying to work through or better navigate,” she says. “Don’t worry about not having that one guru who’s by your side for every step you take in the entirety of your career. Just tap into those people that you know are the right people at the right time and consider that a moment of mentorship.” 

 

2. Be authentic, not transactional. 

Mentors are there to offer advice, guidance and support, but that doesn’t mean they should only be used when you need them, says Kavanagh. You should always focus on keeping the base of your relationship healthy, whether you need their support in the moment or not. 

“You want it to be authentic,” she says. “Nobody wants to feel like they’re only being reached out to because there’s something the other person needs, which is where I think a lot of people may get into trouble with the, ‘Can I pick your brain?’ emails. It’s sort of like the idea that you’ll have better luck getting someone to accept a LinkedIn request if you include a thoughtful note.”

Spend time getting to know the person you’re connecting with, Googling them, coming up with any sort of meaningful understanding you can before you sit down, says Kavanagh. That’s how you show that you care about them, not just about what they can offer for you. 

“Be clear and intentional about your willingness to give back to them in return if they ever need it,” she adds. 

 

3. Don’t put too much pressure on finding a mentor. 

Mentorship (and micro-mentorship) can be an amazing asset at any time in your career, but it’s not the end-all, be-all for growing in your field or forming professional relationships, she says. 

“Some people will find mentors that they’ll have with them for years, and that’s terrific,” says Kavanagh. “I think my goal, though, is to try to make sure people understand that that is not the only option.”


Want to hear more from Dr. Jen Caudle? Join her and 3 other South Jersey social media influencers and experts at our first Women’s Empowerment Series panel of the season: “Algorithms, Haters & You: How to conquer social media.” 

Grab your ticket today 

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