If you’ve recently joined a new company or have started a new position, you might be feeling lost and in need of some advice. This is where professional mentors come in excellent handy. A professional mentor is someone who works in the same field as you, often for the same business and in the same career path, just some years ahead. They can be excellent pillars of guidance and assist you with any issues that may arise. It may seem a bit awkward to ask someone you look up to for help with something that could seem silly to you, but it’s highly probable they were once in your shoes and sought help from someone just as you’re doing now.
How do you go about finding a mentor, you might ask? Well, many companies have mentoring programs already in place to help new hires adjust to work life and get a sense of what the company is really looking for. If you reach out to your human resources department, they can often help you. If your company doesn’t have a program like this in place, fear not. Take stock of those you work with and who has a career in line with your goals and communicate with them about it. You’d be surprised how many people are ready, willing, and excited to help.
Having a mentor can help you in a variety of ways. One obvious way is looking to them when you have a question about how to handle a situation in the workplace. But there are other, less obvious ways: they can be great for networking and connections. If you have a positive and respectful working relationship with someone in your field, they can be invaluable with helping you meet others who can grow your professional network. They also may have insider knowledge on ways to move up within your company or know of similar work at other companies that you’re qualified for. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
They can also offer suggestions in which decisions to make to further your career, like if you should receive higher education or go for a specific promotion. They know the path you’re on and the ultimate goal at the end, and they can help you reach it. They can also help you work towards a pay raise and increase your value in the workplace overall.
Having someone older and wiser give you professional advice is an especially good idea if that person is who you hope to be in the future. They’ve done the time and have the knowledge to push you forward in your career. They can also become a lifelong friend and associate for whom you have mutual respect and an amazing, meaningful relationship.
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