Why you need a mentor for your job progression
“Finding the right mentor is important, and when you find the right one, cultivating your relationship with them over time is critical.” – Chandramouli Venkatesan
As the most common life lesson, you would not try to navigate a sailboat alone through rocky waters. Better to have with you is an experienced hand who knows where the boulders are hidden. Similarly, a workplace mentor helps you steer your career around stony shoals. They spend time with you, for free. Their role is to advise, lend perspective, and act as a sounding board. Finding and working with a mentor can put wind in your sails. If your employer does not have a formal mentoring program in place, you will need to make the first move.
So, now the question is do you need a mentor at work? No matter when and at what position you are in the organization, the answer to the aforementioned question always tends to be ‘Yes’, but only if you are keen on growing exponentially in your profession. As long as there are people with more leadership experience or more knowledge and wisdom than you currently have, you can benefit immensely from having one or multiple mentors at work. Whether you are looking for a new job, growth in your current role, starting or growing your own business, having a good mentor will help you progress and achieve your full potential faster. A great mentor not only gives you access to a wealth of knowledge but often becomes a good friend or even a business associate.
In short, finding a mentor is a vital part of any thriving career, at all stages. Do not miss out on the guidance a mentor brings and the boost you will see in your career. Below are some of the ways mentors or career coaches can help you in your job progression.
1. Acknowledge your shortcomings.
If you are trying to move upward in your career, you need to know exactly what is weighing you down, making that vertical climb more difficult. Chances are, you know many of your shortcomings and are working to eliminate them. But sometimes the biggest flaws are the ones we cannot see. A mentor can come in with an outside perspective to point out issues you may not be able to see.
Your relationship with your mentor will allow you to talk about your shortcomings freely and much more easily than you could with a boss or supervisor. Even if the shortcomings your mentor points out are ones you are already aware of, working with them to find ways to make you better without the fear of it impacting your career is invaluable.
2. Learn something new.
No matter how smart you are or how much you know, the more you know the more you realise how much there is to learn. Finding a mentor outside your company or department provides you with access to knowledge you may not have known you were missing. It may be beneficial, also, to specifically look for a mentor with knowledge in an area you need to learn more about. Learning something new will not just make you a better person, but it will also show your employer you are disciplined and take initiative. These are always good traits that, later, employers notice and appreciate.
3. Connect with new people.
After being in the same industry for years, you may start to realise that everyone knows the same people. Your mentor, as an outsider, has access to a whole new network of individuals you may not. You can glean from their wisdom as well as your mentor’s. Networking with new people boosts your opportunities exponentially. After all, as the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
You should feel comfortable communicating openly with your advisor. And your relationship should balance being supported and appropriately challenged. Connecting with a mentor can change your career in ways you may have never seen possible. Whether you are at the beginning, middle, or end of your career path, a mentor can come in and provide guidance and support that will make you a better employee and a better human.
ABL Recruitment team
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