No matter where you are in your career, it’s a great idea to look for opportunities to build your professional skill set and lay the foundation for advancing in your profession. Seeking out a mentor is a great way to accomplish both goals, and so much more. Learn more about the importance of having a mentor.
You Can Realize Where You Need To Improve
Even the greatest of CEOs and the most capable of managers have weak spots they need to work on. Rather than fumble trying to recognize yours as well as how to address them, mentors can single those weak spots out with pinpoint accuracy. Not only that, but they can also offer strategies for how to overcome those weaknesses. Even if you’re close to your manager or boss, she or he may downplay your professional shortcomings in an effort to spare your feelings and save face. Not so with a mentor.
You Gain Information and Knowledge You May Not Have Learned in the Classroom
The knowledge and insight you may have gained in college was just the beginning. Mentors and general work experience offer a different kind of education altogether, and you’re only getting half of what you need to reach your full potential if you’re only learning on the job. With a mentorship, you gain access to knowledge and information you may know even existed. The great thing about this level of insight is that it can shorten your learning curve and advance your career faster than you can imagine.
You Have the Chance To Grow Into Your Best Professional Self
Without a mentor to guide you, you may flounder on your professional path. That could mean heading down one road only to discover it’s a dead end or doesn’t lead to where you hoped it would, leaving you back at square one. Once a mentor has a solid idea of how you think and work, she or he can help you tap into your true potential. This can eliminate a lot of the trial and error that can lead to wasted time, resources and possibly even money.
You Have Someone To Help You Establish Healthy Boundaries
In your quest to tap into your full potential, you may overexert yourself. There’s nothing wrong with giving a project or task your all, but you should operate within a set of boundaries that keeps you from burning out or working in circles. A mentor can help you to establish those boundaries while ensuring you’re still being challenged. Rather than feel as if you’re being limited, it’s better to look at boundaries as a way to sharpen your focus and maximize your efforts.
You Gain a Source of Encouragement
When things get tough, there’s no doubt you can boost yourself up and push yourself across the finish line. That said, it’s also great to have someone else rooting for you and offering you words of encouragement. Mentors also act as coaches while you’re in the professional ring, telling you exactly where and how to strike to emerge victorious.
You Have a Sounding Board
Do you have a great idea for a business or your company? Are you worried it may not be as great as you think, or that you’ve missed a few items? Rather than overanalyze your idea, you can turn to your mentor to see what she or he thinks. This is an especially good idea if what you have in mind involves a great investment of time and/or money. You can proceed with the confidence that you’ve covered all your bases and that you know exactly what needs to be done and when.
Do yourself a favor and start looking for experts in your industry who could serve as potential mentors. While you may be nervous to approach them, you’re sure to be thankful you mustered up the courage. After all, the worst they can do is say no. Best of luck!