Having a mentor can be extremely beneficial to your career growth at every level.
Many are reluctant to seek out a career mentor (particularly those who are inexperienced or new to an industry). However, the benefits can be significant and are well-worth exploring.
Advice and support from someone who has experience and insight can be the perfect complement to your own initiative and drive.
Here are just a few benefits a top mentor can offer you.
Sharing an insider’s perspective
A mentor can provide you with an insider’s perspective on navigating your own career path.
No matter what stage you are at in your career, a mentor can be a great source of information and guidance: providing critical feedback and advice that will help you to make decisions about your career.
A mentor’s advice may not always be unique, but it typically leverages a different perspective, setting them apart from your professors, family or friends.
Even where their advice doesn’t align with your priorities or goals, you’ll be able to make decisions with a clearer sense of the pros and cons.
That input can make a significant difference when you’re facing a major career decision.
Holding you accountable
Do you have a specific career goal in mind? Or do you feel a little like you lack purpose?
When it comes to developing (and setting) your goals, a mentor offers more than just guidance.
It’s easy to let goals slide when they’re kept a secret. Laying your goals and plans out with a mentor’s input will make you more accountable to actually completing them.
This benefit also applies to getting started, not just following-through. A mentor’s encouragement can lead you to take the first step to tackling a career challenge.
Answering your questions
A mentor has probably tackled many of the questions you have to ask, whether it’s something industry-specific or more open-ended.
While self-guided research is vital to your continued career success, a mentor can offer a much-needed personal counterpoint.
You may find that your mentor has questions for you, which can help you build your skills as a communicator, and recognize areas where you would benefit from learning more.
Enhancing your network
A mentor can help enhance and expand your professional network.
Although you can’t guarantee every mentor will have connections to the CEO of your dream company, they more than likely will have other connections in the field that may be able to help you down the line.
Expanding your network early on in your career can set you up for success. Not only do you have the potential to eventually connect with your mentor’s network, but also connecting with your mentor alone can help open many doors for you.
It is never too late or too early to find yourself a mentor.
Having a mentor can benefit you at no matter what stage in your life and career you are in, and can help accelerate your career path.