Navigating the complexity of finding a promising career is not easy, especially if you are fresh out of school and have no idea on how to break into your field. There are so many factors that come into play such as career aspiration, personal interests, priorities and timing. We often rely on our family and friends for advice; however, some important advice that can jump start our career might be overlooked, so this is where having a career mentor can be helpful.
So, what is a career mentor?
A career mentor is someone who assists you in your career development. That seems pretty basic, so let’s take a look at the benefits of having a career mentor in your job search.
- Insights: A mentor was once in your position, so they have relevant knowledge and expertise related to your career field and can provide you with different perspectives.
- Job search: Doing a job search can be tough. You can feel isolated and become pessimistic especially when you do it on your own; you can also be trapped by only applying to jobs online. A career mentor can help you overcome job-search stress, turning your passive job search into an effective one.
- Connections: A mentor has been in the industry for a while and has a network of colleagues and friends. With your mentor’s help, you will be able to expand your professional network; establishing a network early on can set you up for success.
- Focus: We’ve all heard of SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. When it comes to setting your career goals, a mentor offers more than just guidance; they can help you create an action plan, prioritize and stay focused. Additionally, a mentor can provide you with feedback on how you can effectively reach your goals using strategies that worked for them or their colleagues.
- Career growth: No matter what stage you are at in your career, a mentor can help you cultivate your skills and support your career growth; they can open many doors, and a mentoring relationship can last a lifetime.
So, these are just some of the benefits you can get when you have the right mentor. In the end, however, a mentor is basically someone who has an interest in your success and plays an active role by providing you with unbiased advice and a network of connections. With the right skill set, the right mentor and the willingness to learn and grow, you can be on your way to achieving your career goals.