Don’t you love the beginning of a new year? It’s so exhilarating. You get to start fresh and reimagine your life and career the way you want. It’s a perfect time to try new things and ditch those things that don’t work anymore.
There’s no doubt that our careers play a significant role in our lives. But managing them isn’t always so easy, especially when you’re trying to navigate them alone. After all, the business world is challenging, to say the least. That’s where having a career or business mentor can help.
If you’ve never considered having a mentor, think about what it could mean for your career to have someone to share ideas with, guide and support you, and teach you as you move toward your goals.
Mentors can be utilized in both a professional capacity and in your personal life, with their role being similar to that of a coach or professor in which they provide guidance to a less experienced mentee.
The mentor-mentee relationship is important, so you’ll want to choose one carefully. Some things to consider when looking for and working with a mentor include the following:
1. Seek out a professional you admire
When choosing a mentor, knowing why you want to work with them is essential. Some things to consider include:
- What have they done that you admire?
- What do you want to learn from them?
- How can they help you achieve your goals?
By answering these questions, you’ll gain clarity on what type of mentor may suit you best.
Working with someone with an outside perspective can be beneficial, as they can bring clarity and insight to a situation and offer a fresh perspective. In addition, a mentor’s point of view will differ due to their experience and knowledge, so they’ll be able to provide new insights on how to approach a problem and recognize areas that can be leveraged.
While mentors can be found in every industry and position, if you work for a company you love and see yourself there long-term, you may want to work with a superior within your company. But your options don’t end there.
With the technology available today, it’s easier than ever to get and stay connected, allowing you to work with anyone. Two great options for getting and staying connected include LinkedIn and Zoom, which can make mentorship easier than ever, no matter where in the world you reside.
2. Establish clear goals with your mentor
While the relationship you build with your mentor can be a fantastic experience, if goals aren’t established early on, it can prove to be a missed opportunity for both mentor and mentee. Therefore, it’s important to set clear, attainable goals on what you’d like to learn and accomplish during your time together.
It will be important to have a set meeting schedule, even if it’s on a zoom call, and an objective to work on for each session. To make the time productive, the goal clearer, the better. For example, if your goal is to be promoted, incorporating new strategies will allow you to focus on a new skill necessary to be considered for the role.
Additional mentoring goals may include:
- Developing communication skills.
The mentor can observe the mentee’s communication style and give feedback on improving for clarity or effectiveness.
- Growing a professional network.
Mentors are usually more advanced in their careers with a network of colleagues in various roles, companies and organizations. Mentors can help their mentee by including them in meetings and networking opportunities. The mentee benefits from exposure to people they wouldn’t normally interact with and the opportunity to establish relationships of their own.
- Identify career objectives.
Mentors can help clarify long-term career goals and identify best practices for creating a plan to meet and exceed those goals.
3. Focus on professional and personal goals
As you and your mentor work together and become more comfortable, you’ll discuss various business and personal objectives. For example, along with your career, you may want to get advice on investing and decide that starting a side hustle could help you reach your financial goals faster.
Maybe you’d like to purchase a home and want to know more about mortgages and house affordability, or you’d like to achieve financial independence by a certain age. Your mentor can help you to navigate the path and support you as you work towards those goals.
4. Become a mentor
Being a mentor provides an opportunity to give back and share the knowledge you gained through your experience as a mentee and pass it on. It not only gives you a chance to teach someone the skills you’ve learned, but it can also be a great learning experience for you and a way to improve your own leadership skills.
There’s no doubt that mentors make a significant difference in the lives of those they work with. While mentors offer a variety of knowledge, experience, and support, their guidance helps the mentee to acquire skills and gain the experience they wouldn’t otherwise have exposure to in their careers.