One of the most important steps you can take when beginning your career is to find a career mentor who already works in the field and can provide guidance and support as you pursue your goals. The thought of finding a career mentor might seem overwhelming, but the task is not as difficult as it may appear. Follow these three tips for finding a great mentor who can help you achieve success in your career.
1. Build Relationships at Work
It can be intimidating to ask someone you don't know to be your career mentor, which is why it's a good idea to build stronger relationships with people you already know. Your workplace provides a great opportunity to begin this process. Start by introducing yourself to managers, co-workers or anyone at your workplace who has a positive attitude, seems to enjoy his job and is making great strides within the organization. Be friendly, and engage in small chit-chat whenever you see these individuals.
Once you become friendly with your workmates, let them know about your career aspirations, and ask if it's okay to seek their advice or guidance on career-related issues. If the person already recognizes your positive attitude, solid work ethic and drive, he might offer support before you even ask.
2. Attend Industry Events
Another great way to find one or more career mentors is to regularly attend industry events. Research your industry, and make a list of industry-related groups or associations you can join. Become an active member of a few organizations, and attend as many seminars, charity benefits, holiday celebrations and networking events as possible. Volunteer for at least one organization to increase your chances of building solid relationships. As you meet people, let them know about the specific goals you plan to achieve within the industry, and ask for feedback and guidance. If you're professional and have a solid plan of action, it won't be difficult for you to find people from these organizations who are willing to help you pursue your goals.
3. Join a Mentoring Program
Career mentoring programs provide a great opportunity for anyone who is just getting started in a career or transitioning to a new field. Many reputable companies have mentoring programs set up for active students and recent college graduates, and these programs offer internship, shadowing and volunteer opportunities to serious-minded individuals who want to meet career-minded people and learn more about their industries. Speak to career counselors at your college or university to learn about the different opportunities available in your area.
As you pursue a career mentor, you’ll likely be surprised at the receptivity of most professionals. After all, many of them understand the importance of mentoring and even have mentors of their own. Don’t let fear keep you from pursuing a career mentor. Follow these tips to boost your chances of building solid relationships with phenomenal people who are more than willing to help guide your career.
Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net