Do you want to get promoted at work? Many people want to advance their career, and they will try many ways to move forward. From staying late at work to taking on weekend projects, they are happy to put in extra effort in the hopes they will be rewarded.

However, many people don’t think about one of the easiest ways to get a promotion – finding a mentor. A mentor can improve your skills and help you to create a career plan, but more importantly they can be totally honest about your skills. Sometimes we all need someone to point out any mistakes we could be making.

Here are 4 things you should look for in a mentor to make sure they are perfect for you.

1. They have power and influence in the area they mentor

If you are looking for a mentor to help you in a business career, ideally you would look to someone who worked in this field at a high level. They will have essential knowledge and will be well equipped to help you achieve your similar goals.

2. You (and others) respect them

Choose someone you like and respect to be your mentor – this should be a positive relationship, and you will be more willing to grow if you like and respect your mentor. Other people respecting them is simply a good indicator that your mentor is wise and reasonable.

3. They are willing to be tough

If a mentor can’t be tough with you, they can only offer you advice. It is likely you already have friends or family who would do so – a mentor should push you to achieve and be tough when you’re slacking, so you can grow and move forward.

4. They are invested in your success

If you’re actively looking to move forward and accomplish your dreams, a mentor who isn’t fully invested in helping you to achieve your dreams won’t help you – they’ll probably slow you down. Choose someone who is happy to invest time and effort into mentoring you.

Do you have a mentor, or are you a mentor to someone? When I was 17 I worked in a cupcake shop and my boss was like a mentor to me. I had just become interested in writing, and she helped me to find work and eventually start creating my portfolio. She was very helpful and just an all around nice person. Let me know about your experiences with mentoring!