A mentor might be the missing piece to your career success. Many successful people agree that mentors have proved invaluable in navigating through their careers. A mentor can be any person who is capable of advising, training, and guiding you. When you were in school, you had teachers and parents to mentor you. As an adult, who do you know who can offer wisdom, guidance, and expertise to you in your industry? Who can you ask important questions about how to solve difficult problems? Who can help you maneuver through this ever-changing business world?
Finding a mentor can sometimes be the scary part. Mentors don’t usually fall into your lap; typically, you have to take the initiative to find one and ask them to meet with you. Think about who you’ve met in your industry or at your current job who has an impressive career history or who is currently in a role that you aspire to someday have. If you don’t already know anyone, ask around, or search for someone on LinkedIn with the experience you want. Then, ask them to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch. It’s that easy. Typically, successful people feel honored to help others and enjoy sharing their success stories. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised at their willingness to talk with you and help you with your career.
Be prepared to discuss your career interests and goals, and ask questions that will you help you achieve them. Ask your mentor how they got started, what kind of certifications they took, and what advice they may have for you. Ask them about a challenge or obstacle you’re currently facing, and how they would advise you overcome it. You may be surprised how their words of advice and wisdom can completely change your attitude, your outlook, and maybe even the trajectory of your career.
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