Most professionals know the concept of a mentor and the incredibly positive influence they can have on one’s professional career. But not every professional has their own mentor. Finding and making a connection with a professional mentor is one of the most important steps you can take in advancing your professional career. If you choose to find a professional mentor, it’s important that you are thoroughly committed to advancing your career and you find someone who understands that goal. There are lots of specific reasons why professional mentors help with building a career and I’ll highlight some of these below.
Most importantly, mentors offer you guidance. Ideally, your mentor will be a professional in the same industry as you, so you share common interests and experiences. Their knowledge about the industry will be incredibly beneficial and help you advance your career. When you have major career decisions to make, such as switching companies or pushing for a promotion or raise, your mentor can give you insight because they’ve been there too and have expansive knowledge about your field.
Mentors will also provide you with lots of support. If you have questions or feel discouraged with your work, your mentor can remind you of the great milestones you’ve already achieved or give advice on how to do better. It’s helpful to have professional support in addition to that from your friends and family, because a professional understands what you’re going through more clearly. If you feel like you’ll never reach your goal, your mentor will be there to encourage you, because they’ve likely been in your shoes when they were starting out with their career.
Your mentor will direct you toward new opportunities as well. Because of their connections, they’ll know about new job or internship opportunities that you can take advantage of and that you may not have learned about otherwise. Your mentor can also vouch for your abilities to a potential employer when you’re applying for a job. Having an established professional who can vouch for your work ethic and skills will be incredibly helpful when you look for different jobs and opportunities.
Overall, it’s vital to remember to show your mentor you appreciate their help. Make sure to regularly tell them how grateful you are for their input and time. Also, it’s important that you show them that their mentorship is worth it. You can accomplish this goal by working hard at your job and being successful, which shows your mentor their guidance is achieving tangible results. When your mentor sees your dedication to your work, they’ll know you’re serious about what you’re doing and help you even more!