When you’re in school, you might call them teachers. When you’re at work, you might call them your boss. However, mentors don’t necessarily have to control your GPA or your workload. Your mentor could be another colleague, your plant manager, or even a LinkedIn connection.
A mentor is defined as an experienced and trusted advisor. This could be someone who has made an impact on your life and has an interest in your future. They may have held the same job title, they may work in another department, or even another industry. No matter how you’re connected, mentors serve the same purpose: guiding you toward your goals.
Where to find a mentor
“Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?” – This popular interview question can often stump prospective job candidates. If you’re one of them, you might want to dig a little deeper into defining your career (and personal) goals.
Keep it simple: start where you are! If you’re a sales associate, talk to your immediate manager or even your store manager. Ask them how they moved up to the position they’re in today. If you are thinking about a career change soon, reach out to local businesses and set up an informational interview. Let them know you’re interested in the work they’re doing and would like to learn more. More often than not, they’ll be delighted to meet with you!
No one gets to their current position in life on their own. This can work to your advantage! Successful people love to share their success stories. They’re ready to give advice and encouragement to those who are looking for more opportunities.
Why mentors are important
The most important reason for finding a mentor is to move forward with your career goals. Whether that includes meeting with a prospective employer or learning how to start your own business, mentors are stepping stones toward your end goals. An additional caveat to mentorship is that you can learn more about your current career and personal strengths. We can often be hard on ourselves, so it’s helpful to hear feedback from another source.
A mentor can help you identify what you can bring to the table in a new department, a new company, or as a consultant for other side projects. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to identifying a mentor. You can find them in unlikely places, so do your homework. As you seek out new influences and inspiration, you could meet your new mentor today!
By: Bailey Feldman