The optimal time for a business mentor is when you are just starting your career or switching jobs or industries. This is not to say you wouldn’t benefit at other times–but this is when you might need a mentor the most.
What exactly is a business mentor? The very knowledgeable people over at BusinessMentors.Org define business mentoring as:
A professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) supports and encourages people to develop specific skills and knowledge that will maximize their business potential and improve their performance. In short, it is the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience. The mentor acts as a guide to find the right direction and develop solutions.
Sounds helpful, doesn’t it?
We hope the first thing they tell you is to update your resume and ask a professional to look it. A business mentor might even tell you to get a FREE Critique of your resume. Ok, shameless plus aside, here are some great ways a mentor can help you.
A Superhero in Your Corner
Maybe not a superhero, exactly, but a mentor is further along in their career than you are. He or she has seen and heard things. Made mistakes. Enjoyed successes. Overcame obstacles. You can learn from all of this. Hopefully you can use their insight in order to avoid the same mistakes they made. This is one of the very best things about having a business mentor.
You Won’t Feel So Alone
Starting a new career or switching jobs can be lonely at first. You are leaving behind an environment you knew well to enter one that has a lot of unknowns. A business mentor can help bridge that gap. Even if he or she doesn’t work at the same place that you do, you still have the assurance that they are there for you if you need them. You can call, bounce ideas off them, pick their brain, etc. You may even find yourself turning to you business mentor when you need to make big decisions in your career like:
- asking for a raise
- taking a promotion
- switching departments
- dealing with a difficult co-worker or client
- how to maintain a healthy life-work balance
It’s always nice to know you aren’t alone.
Most of us can identify with a time in our life where we felt overwhelmed and inundated with information. There is a steep learning curve and we want to do well at our jobs and appear confident in what we are doing. When there is a lot going on, it can be hard to prioritize, or even know what to focus on now and what can be dealt with later. Because a business mentor has been there and done that, he or she can help you with this common challenge. You can benefit from knowing how he or she tackled similar issues. A business mentor is a fast-forward button through the learning curve of your career.
How to find a Business Mentor
Now that we have convinced you that having a business mentor is an excellent idea, how do you go about finding one?
Forbes Magazine has excellent advice on this very thing. You can check it out at Finding A Mentor Is Easier Than You Think.
If you think you could be a good business mentor to someone else, give it a try. Offer to help someone who may be less experienced than you, but who you really connect with and see potential in. After all, we all need a superhero from time to time.
Happy Mentor Seeking! We are here for you!
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