Whether you are just starting out in your chosen industry, wanting to make a major career change or simply looking to step up on the career ladder, career mentoring is beneficial at any stage in your life. Regardless of whether you want to develop specific skills that can help you progress or if you wish to be guided by someone who has decades of experience and wisdom to share, engaging with a career mentor can work wonders when it comes to planning your next career move.
If you are unsure about engaging with a professional career mentor, here are some of the benefits of doing so that may just convince you to take that next important step.
Learn From Real Life Experience
A good career mentor won’t just provide valuable advice that can help you steer you in the right direction, they’ll use insights from their own journey to guide you in practical ways. Based on their experience, they can identify the skills you need to develop further and support you in applying them practically. Mentors provide a balanced perspective with 20/20 hindsight; they may tell you what they would have done differently, and they will discuss with you the impact of their decisions in a way which will resonate with your specific situation. Additionally, career mentors can empathise with the obstacles you face when it comes to planning your career and they will support you in managing the overwhelm as you deal with your own particular challenges.
Have A Reliable Sounding Board
An experienced and reputable career mentor provides a ‘safe space’ when it comes to brainstorming and discussing your ideas. If you are unsure of what to do in a particular situation or require some direction, a mentor will be the independent, objective listener, who will guide in looking at all the options. They will make suggestions that will get you closer to your goals, help you develop your own career roadmap and save you from ‘reinventing the wheel’ unnecessarily.
Become More Motivated
Regardless of how passionate you are about your chosen career path, it’s easy to become disillusioned from time to time. Having a mentor is having your own personal motivator because they are, in effect, committed to your career aspirations. Often, having experienced similar motivational struggles first hand, your mentor will help you overcome complacency, they will consistently remind you of and help you uncover the real value you bring to your current or future organisation and they will encourage you to explore alternative avenues to become the best version of yourself.
Advance Your Career
Career mentoring promotes your career advancement by helping you stay focused on your career goals, by guiding you in improving your self-image, strengthening your CV, in reviewing job applications and guiding you in those all-important interview preparations and dry-runs. Your self-confidence improves and your mentor guides you in stepping into your own power in your current position and into the position you are aiming for. Advancing your career is not always about earning more, but research carried out by Financial Management Magazine shows that people that have a mentor can expect to see an increase in their salary over the longer term. Furthermore, highly successful billionaires such as Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates all had famous mentors that guided them. For Zuckerberg, it was Steve Jobs; for Gates, it was Warren Buffet, and Branson was mentored by Freddie Laker.
Grow Your Network
As the adage goes, ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’, and an established mentor may be able to introduce you to their network. Building your own network is important when it comes to progressing your career, particularly if you are looking outside your current employer or are starting out on your own, so don’t be afraid to ask your mentor to either connect you or to guide you in how to build your network.
Engaging in career mentoring has proven to be invaluable in terms of helping individuals re-engage with themselves again, to understand and value their true worth and to go forward in their career with greater confidence and determination.