The Perfect Time to Get a Mentor
Much has been said about the need to “get a mentor” to accelerate your learning, but little has been said about when it makes the most sense.
Someone coming into a skill fresh might be misguided into thinking that they should get one as soon as possible, even before they start. They might start reaching out to successful people trying to land a mentorship, and get turned away because they pursued it too early.
There is a perfect time for a mentorship, but to understand where that point is, you first need to understand the 5 tiers of expertise.
The Five Tiers of Expertise
Expertise and skill level can be broken down into 5 progressive levels, as researched by the Dreyfus brothers and expanded on elsewhere.
- Advanced Beginner
Each of these tiers has a defining characteristic that explains how you operate at that skill level.
A novice operates primarily on recipes, how-to guides, and other resources.
An advanced beginner still uses recipes, but has some contextual understanding of when to use which recipes.
A competent has an intuition about what will happen and takes personal, emotional responsibility for the outcome.
A proficient has an intuitive sense of what their goal should be, but not an intuitive sense of what to do about it.
An expert has an intuitive sense of what they should do and how to do it, and largely operates without clear rules.
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