It is important to consider having a mentor at each critical phase of your career. Here's why:
1. In college:
By your Junior Year, you should have identified someone who can assist you in gaining a realistic assessment of the job market and who can provide support to you as you enter that market. For those truly ambitious individuals among you, having a mentor in high school is a good idea as well.
2. Upward and lateral career movement:
If you want to continue to grow with the benefit of someone else’s experience and knowledge and to avoid career mistakes and enhance your learning, identify someone early on who, as your mentor, will guide you and support you in charting a career path.
3. Changing careers:
In pursuing a change in your career, a mentor is invaluable in assisting you in exploring
other options and possibly opening doors to you that would otherwise be difficult or impos-
4. Changing companies:
You can choose to move from one company to the next on the basis of higher pay or better career opportunities. But a mentor can assist you in focusing your job movements from a strategic standpoint by working with you on developing an effective job search that fits into your ultimate goals rather than simply “looking for the next job”.
5. Feeling “stuck” in your current job:
This happens to all of us at some point. A mentor can serve as the catalyst who helps move us from a feeling of being hopelessly stagnant to one of exploration and empowerment and opens the doors that allow us to discover what it is we really want to accomplish and how to achieve it.
6. Being “deselected”:
In plain English, you’ve been laid off or fired. Although it is more difficult to locate a mentor at this point since s/he may have some misgivings about your current non-employed status, it does not mean you should overlook the value of a mentor. A valued mentor can pick us up after recovering from the shock of being “deselected” and remind us of our self-worth while serving as a much needed cheerleader as we seek to move ahead to a new opportunity.
As you can see, no matter where you are in your career, NOW is the right time to consider finding a mentor and establishing a mentoring relationship. Potential mentors are all around you. If you don't know how to find a mentor, check out our latest eBook: