3 Reasons to Acquire a Mentor in Your Profession
There are many ways to gain information and knowledge to help you progress in your professional career, but few of them provide the benefit of wisdom. That’s quite understandable, because in general, wisdom can only be gained directly, as you journey through your career and build a portfolio of knowledge and experiences.
Access the Wisdom of a Mentor in Your Profession
While you are building that portfolio however, it is possible to benefit from the wisdom of others, which is precisely why mentoring relationships are so important for anyone with a will to succeed professionally. If you don’t already have a mentor in your profession; somebody willing and able to support you on your journey and share her wisdom, I urge you to try and find one—and here are three reasons why.
1. A Reflective Influence
Not to be confused with a coach, who will likely take a directive approach to aiding your growth, a good mentor is someone who’s there when you need her. She will help you learn and grow according to your agenda. In particular, a mentor in your profession will act like a reflective surface, one at which you can fire your questions and concerns.
Your mentor will often help you find your own solutions, rather than handing them to you on a plate. She may offer her opinions, and share her own related experiences and lessons learned.
Not only will this help you become more confident at problem solving, it will also reassure you that your issue is not unique to you, but one that your mentor too, has had to deal with in the past. That’s why mentors can be invaluable to senior managers and business leaders when executive loneliness sets in.
2. Portal to a Professional Network
Another benefit of having a mentor in your profession is the broad network which she will probably have developed over the term of her own career.
A good mentor will be happy to share details of some of her professional contacts, providing you with the opportunity to access those people and benefit from their experience.
This can be especially helpful when you are dealing with a problem needing specialist input, as your mentor may be able to put you in contact with just the right person to help.
3. Learn Best Practices, Protocols, and Behaviours
The wisdom of a mentor in your profession provides a big advantage if you are just starting your career, or if you have just joined the company where your mentor is employed.
That’s why large, medium, and even small business enterprises are increasingly launching mentoring programs for new employees, and especially for those taking up their first management positions.
Through your mentor/mentee relationship, you will be able to learn about the way your company or industry works, understand best practices, and quickly become familiar with expected behaviours, all of which can help to accelerate progression along your career path.
Search for a Mentor in Your Profession
In this post I have described just three ways in which a mentor/mentee relationship can boost your professional growth. There are many more advantages to such a relationship, so if you don’t already have a mentor in your profession, it’s more than worthwhile taking time to find one.
A mentor doesn’t have to have been trained in vocational education. She doesn’t even have to be an official mentor enrolled in a program.
All you need is someone with a lot of experience and knowledge in your professional field. Above all, a good mentor will have the wisdom to guide without instructing, to inspire without bragging, and to be readily available when you are most in need of help and inspiration.
If you are prepared to look a little and ask around, you’re sure to find someone in your profession with just such qualities, who’ll be happy to help you on the way to career success.
Group Managing Director
Phone:+61 417 417 307