5 Reasons Why You Need a Career Mentor
Whether you’re just starting or you’re in the middle of your career, no matter which level you are, you would always find a career mentor valuable in your journey.
A career mentor is an experienced person with more knowledge and connections, who acts as an advisor or coach for a less experienced mentee or junior individual, providing expertise and professional knowledge within a certain field.
A career mentor’s main role is to guide you in making effective decisions for your career, providing advice and support, and showing you opportunities that’ll take you to greater heights in your career.
The role of a career mentor cannot be underestimated. Here are 5 reasons why you need a career mentor:
Learn from real-life experiences
Because a career mentor has extensive experience in their field, you get to have unlimited access to tons of valuable advice and insights needed for your career journey. A career mentor will go out of the way to ensure you do not make the same mistakes he or she made in the course of their career.
It’s like having a tour guide leading you to your destination, to avoid getting lost and giving you all the needed information regarding the unfamiliar place you are visiting.
To help you set and achieve your goals
One of the main responsibilities of your career mentor is to help you set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals on a weekly or regular basis. Your career mentor will sit with you and help you identify clear and achievable goals that are meaningful and unique to your career.
Think of your career mentor as your personal project manager – planning and ensuring your goals are achieved are on time.
Develop your strengths and skillsets
A career mentor is capable of helping you realise some hidden strengths you had no idea you had in you. Your strengths play a major role in your career, and a mentor will help you develop and grow your strengths, and overcome your weaknesses – a task that’s difficult to do on your own.
Your mentor – fully aware of your capacity – will create steps and activities that’ll bring you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to improve your skills and turn them into greater skills.
Having a career mentor can open you to a lot of opportunities through the people you meet. Most times, career mentors have a vast network of connections, even outside their field, and you can build your network and also learn from their wisdom as well as from your mentor’s.
In the future, these connections will open doors for you by providing great job leads. You never can tell if your future business partner will be from the network you build today.
Aside from giving you great advice, a mentor can also be a sounding board – listening to you rant and being fully active in all your conversations.
Sometimes, you need someone with whom you can have difficult career conversations, someone who will focus on you and help you reflect deeply on your challenges and provide solutions.
Your mentor will be there to listen to you and help you gain a better perspective about the situation without biases.
Not having a career mentor can be likened to learning how to drive without having a tutor – no sooner than later would the car be abandoned due to difficulties in trying to self-learn.
A career mentor will hold you by the hand – showing you the right career paths to take, will open your eyes to opportunities you wouldn’t see by yourself, and will give you an edge over others in your field.
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