As you look to make moves in your career, good advice might be difficult to come by. However, if you’ve taken advantage of networking opportunities at various points throughout your life, it’s likely you’ve made some connections with the right people. Mentors are experienced and trusted advisers who can offer the guidance you’re looking for. Learn more about how you can grow your network and career through mentorship.
The Benefits of Mentorship
When you’re in need of career advice, mentors are valuable individuals to turn to. They often have the experience you may be lacking and are able to offer free, trusted advice and support while you face difficult decisions. Perhaps you need help with building your resume, working on a project, developing a relationship with a mutual connection, or figuring out the next steps in your career. A respectful partnership can develop with this individual, and it’s always a positive to have someone in your corner to turn to whenever you need guiding insight.
3 Ways to Find the Right Mentor
There’s a reason that “mentor” is both a noun and a verb. A good mentor is someone who exhibits certain qualities that will benefit you in your growth.
The right mentor will vary from person to person, but start exploring your options by first defining the type of individual you admire, and what qualities they possess that make you admire them. Find someone who has the job that you want, and via LinkedIn, start to establish a relationship by simply reaching out and introducing yourself.
Alternatively, you could foster connections you’ve made by reconnecting with individuals from past positions or school groups. The benefit to this method is that you will find someone who already knows you personally and would give great advice.
Finally, look within your inner circle. Take a friend for coffee to have a professional discussion and understand how they approach their career.
Grow your Network
An additional advantage of mentorship is the opportunity to grow your own network with the relationships you’ll make. Get started on building up your inner circle with the people you want to form lasting connections with. Start by inviting and accepting invitations for coffee or lunch as a means to sit down with someone and ask questions. Do your research to figure out the most important questions you want to ask these individuals. An additional tip; always be polite and engaged when interacting with people you meet at work, as you never know when you might need or want to connect with them again at any point in the future.
Pay it Forward
So you’ve found your mentor(s), have established a lasting relationship with them, and perhaps they’ve even opened up a door or two for you along the way. It’s time to return the favor by offering your expertise and becoming a mentor for someone else. Chances are, there are plenty of people in your own life looking for the same guidance you were once searching for. Consider also starting a mentorship program at your company, as this is a great way to invest in the organization’s future via your employees.
Visit our new Resources for Career Advancement page for more information on how to grow your network.
Written by Casey O'Connell for Open Campus.