• Peer mentors are people who can relate to your situations and help out
  • The best peer mentors are the people you already enjoy working with
  • Your peer mentor is your secret weapon in getting things done
You’ve just been assigned to a new project.

You have no fucking idea what you are doing.

You’re given a list of instructions that you need to follow, but it doesn’t make sense.

This could be a disaster.

You ask for help, but your boss is unavailable. Your colleagues are friendly, but they’ve got their own shit to deal with. You feel lost, helpless and don’t know what to do.

It’s okay to admit that you don’t know what you’re doing because most people feel this way at some point in their lives. Even the most successful people were once in your shoes.

They didn’t always know what they were doing. They had to learn, just like you.

But they found people who helped them. They asked for help. They learned from their mistakes and kept trying until they got it right.

You can do the same thing.

You can ask for help. You can find someone who will mentor you and help you succeed. You can learn from your mistakes and keep trying until you get it right.

If you feel stuck in your job or career, a peer mentor just might be the ticket.

What Is Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring is when you get help from someone who is just like you. And, conversely, it’s also when you help others.

It’s a two-way street.

It’s not a teacher-student or mentor-mentee kind of thing. It’s more mentor-mentor or peer-to-peer.

Simon Sinek, a British-American author who has become one of the “go-to” guys about organizational behavior and the workplace, explains his take on mentorship in this two-minute video below.

VIDEO: What I Got Wrong About Mentorship
YOUTUBE: Simon Sinek
LENGTH: 2:33
Summary points:
  • Mentorship isn’t a teacher-student type of relationship
  • Mutual mentoring is really about supporting each other via friendship
  • Both sides learn as much as they teach
A peer mentor is someone more along the lines of a friend than a leader. It’s the same folks that are in similar situations as you. They are on a similar career path as you, and they have similar responsibilities as you. But, maybe they’re in another group, department, or even another company or industry.

Peer mentors are people who can relate to your situation because they’ve been there before. They know what it’s like to be new to a job, and they know how to help you succeed.

Peer mentors have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. They know what it’s like to start from scratch and climb their way up the ladder.

And when you have a group of peers mentoring each other, well...that’s peer mentoring.

Why Is Peer Mentoring Important?

When you’re working, you can be moments when you feel very isolated and lonely.

It’s way easy to get discouraged when you’re at work, especially when you’re overloaded with work, hate your fucking job, and/or have an asshole boss.

Even if your job is the right fit for you, it can still be hard to make friends with your coworkers.

If you have no friends at work, it can make your workday seem even longer and more unbearable.

You will probably just want to go home as soon as possible after work and never talk to anyone again.

A lot of people feel this way. And it’s not a good feeling.

Peer mentoring gives you a sense of community so that you don’t feel alone and you have someone to turn to when you need advice, tips, guidance, or even just to vent.

This study from Aston University shows that peer mentoring at higher education institutions works and that this can also translate into the working world too.

The truth is, there’s always someone else out there that is either in the same situation as you or has been at some point in their past. Shared struggles build camaraderie and support.

No one else can understand what you are going through better than someone who’s gone through the same bullshit.

And it’s easier to listen to someone in the same boat as you than to listen to a coworker who has no idea what you are going through.

Who Can Be Your Peer Mentor?

What if there was an easy way to find a mentor. And what if that person was already working in your office. Sounds too good to be true, right?

But it’s not. You've got peers all around you, whether it’s at the office or elsewhere.

Not every person at work is willing to help you out. Some of them might be downright awful.

So how do you find a good peer mentor?

Well, it’s not that hard, really.

Just think about the people who you enjoy working with. You like their company and are willing to listen to them when they have something to say.

And then think about how these people make your work life better.

They might be good at listening to your problems, or they might just be good at giving advice on work-related issues, and they’re always there for you when you need it.

But you need to make sure that you’re not going to be relying on this person too much.

After all, they’re probably swamped. You just want them to help you out when you need it. And vice versa.

You can’t expect them to always be there for you, so make sure that you have a good network of people around you who can also give advice and help when it’s needed.

Also, don’t expect too much from your mentor.

You don’t want to get disappointed if they don’t follow through with their promises or if they give bad advice sometimes.

Just try and keep an open mind about the whole thing, and don’t hold grudges if things don’t go your way.

You should only be looking for the positives in this relationship and not the negatives. That way, your peer mentoring experience will be successful for both of you.

What To Look For In A Peer Mentor

You need to find someone who has been in a similar role to you for roughly the same amount of time. They should also be at around the same level as you are.

While they can be slightly more experienced than you, they can’t be significantly more experienced than you. If there is a vast difference between your levels, it could make it hard for them to understand where you are coming from.

You want to find someone who has been in a similar position and be someone who has a similar job title and/or responsibilities as you.

This person will understand your job functions and will be able to help you get up to speed.

You want to find someone willing to mentor you. They should be a good communicator and someone who has good time management skills.

You need someone reliable and can commit to meeting with you regularly. They should also be flexible with their schedule so they can meet with you when it’s convenient for both of you.

Where To Find A Peer Mentor

You have to be willing to reach out and ask for help because no one will come looking to help you out.

The office is just one of the many places you can find a peer mentor.

Remember the person that has been liking your Linkedin posts?

Get coffee with them!

If you find you have a lot in common, ask them if you can pick their brain.

Your local alumni association or college can be another place to find a peer mentor.

Here are a bunch more places to find peers who want to help you.

Within Your Company

There are many different places you can find a peer mentor for your workplace. The most obvious is to ask around and see if anyone is interested in doing this type of program.

If you work in an office, you probably already know a few people that you can ask.

Try to go for someone who has been in your position in the past.

If you don’t have any luck finding someone who has been in your position before, then try asking for someone who is in your position now and has been there for a while.

Sometimes it’s easier to relate to people who have been there for a while.

It’s essential to ask around and find someone you feel comfortable with and be a good mentor for you.

If you work in a smaller office with fewer people, you might want to reach out to someone else in a similar position at a different office to find someone who will be a good fit.

Remember that the first step in peer mentoring is to find someone who is a peer to you that you can relate to. You can start by asking the person sitting across the table from you or the person you bump into at the pantry every time.

Even if they are not the right peer mentors, they probably can suggest other people in the office that would be more suitable for your peer mentor.

Facebook Online Groups

Apart from occasionally wishing happy birthday to acquaintances that you don’t know, you can also utilize Facebook for finding a peer mentor.

Just look for any professional groups that are related to what you do or work in.

Make sure you don’t spam your posts.

If you have no idea what groups to search for, try searching for a “[insert industry]” group.

You can also join groups like “I Love My Job” or “I Hate My Job.”

Then just show up and ask questions and listen to what people are saying.

You may find someone willing to mentor you or even point you in the right direction of another person who might be able to help you. 

LinkedIn Online Industry Groups

If you are a newbie or haven’t been on LinkedIn in a while, read through this LinkedIn for beginners article to get up-to-speed.

This is also an excellent opportunity to finally get to know that person who has been liking your LinkedIn posts.

Post a question or something you’re struggling with and ask if anyone has experience working through this problem.

If you get enough responses, then email the people who have responded and see if you can exchange phone numbers.

LinkedIn is also a great place to find people who work for companies that are similar to yours. You can even email them and see if they would be willing to meet with you for coffee or grab lunch with you.

There is also a LinkedIn section called “People You May Know,” which shows you people who may help you out in some way.

This can be helpful if you need someone who has experience working in a specific company or field different from your own. 

Local Alumni Network

The classmates you had in your course on “Introduction to Business 101”.

Yes, that one.

You really liked them, remember?

And they liked your posts on Facebook, so why not get coffee with them and ask them if you can pick their brain about stuff?

You don’t have to go to their workplace (unless you want to), and they might be more willing to help you out than someone who is in your workplace.

Alumni networks are a great place to find people who have experience in fields and companies you want to work in.

Who has experience in what you want to do?

All you have to do is ask!

Just don’t spam them with emails or calls.

Be specific with your requests and try asking them for advice one on one instead of through a group message. 

Local MeetUp Groups

This is another place where you can get a lot of connections for networking.

Different industries meet up in-person, for example, the “B2B Marketing Meetup” groups.

You can easily find these by googling something like “[your city] + [your industry] meetup.”

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a group member to ask questions or get help from other members.

If you want to contribute to the group, just take time to join and attend the meetings.

Just make sure that you don’t spam your posts here either because this is also an online community of professionals that can be very picky about whom they associate with.

If you’re looking for a mentor, then at least try to find someone who is not too far away from where you are now.

To sum up: Wherever there are professionals, there are peer mentors.

Two Is Always Better Than One

When it comes to improving your work life, being happy, and getting the most out of your work, there are certain things that you can do to turn things around for the better.

One thing that is often overlooked is peer mentoring.

So, if you want to get more out of your work, try working with a peer mentor. It’s simple but highly effective. And best of all, it’s free!

As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.”

So, whenever you have a problem or need some advice on how to get something done, work with a peer mentor.

They will give you the honest advice you need, and they’ll be able to help you get over any mental blocks that are holding you back. And, you’ll be able to help them out too when they’re in a bind.

It’s your secret weapon to getting things done.

So, if you want to make your work less shitty and more successful, just get a peer mentor. It is that simple!

Feel Better,

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