Most everyone has had a mentor in their life. Whether it was a high school coach you had, or a college professor, or even just your mom or dad, someone in your life has taken you under their wing and has offered their wisdom.
Mentors are also invaluable for your growth as a professional. They can be someone you meet on LinkedIn, a person in your company, or anyone whose work you admire. These mentors can teach you so much while boosting your career potential at the same time. Here are 5 reasons why.
#1: Mentors are well-connected
Most of the time, a mentor is older or has been in your industry longer than you have. Therefore, most mentors have had more time to form connections with some of the best people in your field. When you have a mentor, you have access to their network, allowing you to learn from them and potentially find new opportunities.
#2: Mentors have succeeded (and failed)
Like any career, individuals will go through periods of success and failure. Your mentor has likely seen them both and has learned hard-fought lessons through those experiences. The best part is that you get to hear the wisdom without having to struggle through the same challenges, meaning you can live by your mentor’s example when you face similar situations.
#3: Mentors get to know you
If a mentor agrees to meet with you, it means that they are willing to share their expertise. Over time, if mentors agree to spend more time with their mentees, they will get to know you and come to value your potential. They’ll start to learn your strengths and weaknesses, while still being able to provide a third-party, objective point of view. This makes them great sounding boards for half-baked ideas and wonderful sources of advice.
#4: Mentors are inspiring
If you admire someone enough to have them mentor you, they’ve probably had a bright work history. Hearing stories of their accomplishments can encourage you to create your own advancements in your career. Their achievements can also serve as ideas to jumpstart something new and unique, or help you to see an old problem in a new light.
#5: Mentors are honest
After they have gotten the chance to learn more about you, they will freely offer their opinions about the way your career is heading. While your family and friends are great for encouragement, a mentor will know more about your situation from a professional perspective and will give you honest feedback. This honesty can save you from bad decisions by giving you a safe place to hear a voice of reason.
Your career potential will certainly be aided by the help of a mentor. They are long-term career partners who believe in you and your potential contributions to the workforce. We’d encourage you to reach out and find a mentor, and if you’ve been in your industry for some time, become a mentor to someone who needs one.
If you need a place to start to find mentees, WorkFaith Birmingham is always looking for more mentors to come alongside our graduates as they learn to navigate the workforce. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor in the form of volunteering, fill out our application today.