Why you should consider working with a mentor
A mentor can be a very valuable asset, especially for young, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those new to the world of business. There are several benefits to working with a mentor.
It offers you a new perspective from a seasoned professional.
Finding the right mentor is not a secret to success – it’s as obvious as it is essential. Learning from someone older, wiser and more experienced is an invaluable business opportunity, whether you’ve just started your first job or you’re halfway through your career. As we slip into the day-to-day routine of working life, it’s easy to get lost in the moment – our problems are six inches from our face, and a mentor can be the person to reset things so we can look at our careers and growth from a new perspective.
Ryan Holiday, an author and career expert, said finding a mentor starts with working hard and developing a personal reputation of success. By focusing on your own role and career, you can set yourself up to connect with more seasoned business professionals who will see your talent and want to help you grow.
“Powerful people are constantly on the lookout for talented young people; they cannot find enough of them,” he said. “To develop a reputation as someone who is teachable, curious, motivated, talented, and above all, well-balanced and reliable, is the single best way to attract a mentor. As Sheryl Sandberg said, ‘It’s not find a mentor, and you will do well; it’s do well, and a mentor will find you.'”
It can be an informal way to get valuable guidance.
With that first step in mind, understanding the nature of a mentor, mentee relationship can be important. Salemi said it’s important for a mentor and a mentee to realize that the connection doesn’t always need to be an intense, formal thing. It’s better to focus on maintaining the professional relationship and learning what you can.
“It doesn’t have to be completely intensive, and that’s what both the mentor and mentee should know – it’s an ongoing dialogue conversation, and it’s a relationship that’s not going to completely overhaul your life,” Salemi said.
Part of finding a mentor means learning how to appropriately follow up, add value to your mentor’s life and career, and be proactive in your own career growth. These lessons can apply to any worker at any stage of their career. Especially for young professionals who are just emerging in an industry or lack the experience needed to progress, you might feel self-conscious and wary of your endeavors. Sometimes, all you need in these moments is someone to look up to, someone who has been in your shoes but created their own path to success.
“The modern mentor can elevate both your mind and your career in a way that cannot be taught in school, a boardroom or on a business trip,” said Demetri Argyropoulos, CEO of Avant Global. “For me, mentorship has been an invaluable part of my career growth.”
Key takeaway: A mentorship is an informal way to gain professional guidance and perspective from a seasoned professional.