Finding and Making Use of a Mentor
Finding your way in a new company, navigating through your career or working out how to progress can all be tricky situations. Having a mentor who is more experienced than you and can offer advice and guidance is very useful. Whether your company provides you with a mentor, or you find one of your own, try to develop the relationship so they can help you when you need to and they don’t feel bombarded by your requests.
Benefits Of A MentorHaving a mentor is a great way to learn from somebody with more experience than you. They have already been there and done it and can pass on their knowledge – whether it is about the industry, insider information on the company, or tips on how to progress with your career. Seeing their own career progression can act as an inspiration for you and give you an idea of the success that you could have.
Work Provided MentorSome companies, especially larger corporations, will provide you with a mentor when you start working for them. This person is likely to have started in the same position and will be a few years into their career. Try to make the most of this opportunity to glean any information from them. If you have an unhelpful or unwilling mentor then talk to your manager about finding someone new as you don’t want to miss out.
Finding A MentorIf your company doesn’t automatically provide you with a mentor then it is a good idea to try and find one. You can either do this officially by asking around or putting an announcement out, or try and find one informally. Find someone who you can have a good relationship with, that you look up to and who is keen to share their knowledge. You may want to look for someone within the industry but outside of your company. Going into Internet Forums is a good place to find advice from others and meet people who are open and willing to help you.
Being A MentorOnce you have spent a few years in your career you may want to pass on your knowledge to others. Not only is it a karma thing to do, but it is always good to show that you are willing to help others and prove that you are a good leader. Talk to your boss about volunteering your services and introduce yourself to new recruits who might be looking for a mentor. If you decide to do it, you need to live up to the commitment and make it an ongoing arrangement so that you can both benefit fully from the relationship.
It has always been the job of the elders to pass on their knowledge and experience to future generations and it is the same in the workplace. Having a mentor can help you settle into a new company, deal with any difficulties and learn how to progress in your career. Whether you are given a mentor or have to find your own, make the most of the relationship by gleaning information and advice from them.