Many successful professionals were able to grow their own careers mainly because they have found a good mentor who backs them up as they struggle to bring their professional career in place. The assistance and influence of a mentor is a crucial aspect of improving your ability to achieve your career goals, avoid common mistakes and develop your ability to navigate yourself in overcoming difficulties and risks along the process of learning. Your mentor can even work as a catalyst in helping you land your dream job or help you pursue the right career path where you are likely to become successful.
These 5 tips will help you find the most appropriate mentor and how to make them help you develop and promote your career more effectively.
1. Find a mentor with relevant expertise in your career field
Finding a mentor with an appropriate expertise is essential in helping you take the right career path and in promoting your career better. Your best shot is to research professionals within your career industry if you don’t know someone already. It is highly recommended not to settle with just one mentor. Connecting with more than one mentor will help your broaden your own professional career perspectives because every mentor has his own distinct style and strategy of mentoring.
If you are in the healthcare field and working as a nurse for instance, your target mentor should be a senior nurse who has more experience than you do. Finding a mentor with relevant experience as your own profession is essential because they assume the same role as you do in your profession. They are already seasoned by their years of similar experience that made them prosper and become successful in their career field and will pass on their strategy in career development to work on your own career that is similar to theirs too.
2. Communicate your career goals
Your mentor can work better in helping you grow your career more successfully if you clearly express your career goals better. You can ask your mentor to help you work out on your weaknesses while developing your strengths. Some may want their mentor to help them work on improving their chances of getting a promotion to a higher promotion or to transfer to another organization or company.
Each goal will need a specific strategy that your mentor can help you work on more specifically to attain your career goal. It is easier to find the best mentor for you when you know what your career goals are and you are ready to communicate it with your mentor so that you can both work out together in achieving it. In line with your career goals, you should look for a mentor who possesses good qualifications of high credibility within his career industry, able to empathize with you and is willing to communicate with you more often especially in discussing about your career goals.
3. A mentor has the power of bureaucracy
While you may know the people who compose a company’s management force, your mentor will likely know the people endowed with the power in the company management. It would be easier if you have your mentor beside you who has the expertise in career politics and bureaucracy within an organization. Politics is common in certain industry and you need someone to help work your way up to know the right people who can appreciate your career skills and competence and can make powerful decisions that could give you your biggest career break.
Hence, when looking for a good mentor it is essential to look for one who has a broad network connection and is able to build a name of his own within your similar career field so that he can impart the best strategy in promoting your career accordingly aligned with your career goals.
4. Learn from out of the box practical know-how from your mentor
Your theoretical learning and knowledge is most likely confined within the books and your study materials while in school. You may have undergone some training while you are still pursuing an education but your learning and competence will not be enough in order to advance your career better. Your mentor has the ability to teach you practical know-how about your career and their experience is a valuable learning source as well.
In order to get your mentor help you promote your career, look for someone who has the ability to teach you broader learning process that is beyond the theoretical knowledge and principles but more on the practical application of your learning within your career field. This will help you promote your career better as your mentor helps you learn to apply your knowledge in practical situations. Try to search for a mentor whose style of mentoring does not only confine from the book but rather one that is focused more on out of the box learning experiences that will be very useful in advancing your career.
5. Learn to ask questions from your mentor
If you want your mentor to successfully help in promoting your career, it is essential that you allow yourself to ask questions from your mentor in order to obtain the information that you need to improve your performance better. Mentors are not psychics who would know all the things that you need to learn. Asking them questions will enable them to understand fully the various aspects of your needs for improvement.
A good mentor is one who is able to exercise flexibility when mentoring and is able to discover the unique needs of the mentee. He is someone who is willing to entertain questions and queries and is able to provide clear and valuable insights to improve your skill and competence. Your mentor should be focused in helping you achieve your career goals and not his own goals for your career. You are likely to promote your career better when your mentor is one who is flexible, able to listen to your needs and teach you the valuable steps in taking the right direction in promoting your career towards professional development.