The Benefit of Having a Mentor
Something that I believe could benefit people of all ages and life stages is having a guide or mentor. As we progress through life, and as we encounter obstacles, we need someone to show us the way. Now more than ever, I feel as though it is important to have as many supporters in our corner as we can. The path of exploration is a path full of peril, and having someone with knowledge and lived experience alongside of us can be just the advantage we need to succeed.
A mentor is a successful and seasoned professional in your field who wants to work with you to advance your career. They can support you in achieving your individual career goals by creating a connection based on shared values and compatibility. Managers, more seasoned coworkers, former professors, and other professionals in your network can all serve as mentors.
There are many benefits to working alongside a mentor, some of which are that they can provide you with feedback and advice. They can provide you with new perspectives and allow you the space and opportunity to think about things differently. Your industry's latest developments and methods can be better understood with the knowledge you gain from having a mentor.
When choosing a mentor or guide, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I look up to this person?
- Do I trust this person?
- Am I able to work well with them?
- Is this person happy with their career or achievements?
- Do they share the same values and definition of success as me?
- Does this person have the time and availability to support me?
- Can this person constructively challenge me?
I have experienced times in my life when I have had a mentor and times when I did not. I can say that having a mentor certainly made the journey easier as the path was clear and I did not find myself wandering aimlessly, wasting time and energy.
However, there does come a time when you must leave the mentor's path and create your own. I have found this to be one of my own toughest personal challenges. Nevertheless, it is a crucial step in personal progression.
Leaving the mentor and forging forward alone is a sign of your own personal and professional growth. Our journeys of growth and self-discovery will be full of trials and tribulations, but if we accept this, then we can learn from our mistakes and move forward. Who knows who or what you will meet along your own bush-whacking expedition? Just keep moving and the next adventure will unfold.