Today’s Guest Post is courtesy of Melissa Crossman, a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area with her two dogs. She writes extensively about education and technology and blogs on behalf of American InterContinental University.
The Importance of Finding a Mentor
In a competitive job market, working with a mentor can mean the difference between struggling to get hired and moving swiftly through the ranks of a prestigious company.
Mentors can prepare you for the business world in a way that the classroom cannot. Individuals with mentors can also write better resumes and make strategic career decisions with confidence.
However, before you can benefit from having a mentor, you have to find one. Fortunately, the development of corporate mentoring programs and the Internet have made it possible for entry-level professionals to find a qualified mentor quickly and easily.
Even if you have all of the credentials necessary to succeed in the position of your dreams, some skills can be learned from someone with on-the-job experience. One of the best ways a professional can gain insight into a field before entering it is by connecting with a mentor who has already spent time working in the industry.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
Benefits of the Mentor Relationship
- Mentors supplement formal instruction. A mentor can teach you tricks of the trade that cannot be taught in the classroom. Mentors have already worked in the field, so they can help new professionals translate what they learned in school to the real world.
- Mentors know how to get noticed. Because mentors have already spent time working, every qualified mentor has landed at least one job. Most have changed positions several times. As a result, these seasoned professionals have learned how to write a resume and ace an interview. A mentor can pass this information on to you, thus preventing you from making unnecessary mistakes early in your career.
- Mentors understand the typical career path. Mentors know how to make strategic career moves and qualify for promotions. Using these experiences, mentors can provide critical guidance. For example, a mentor may notice that you’re lacking an essential skill that would prevent you from moving up in the company. The mentor may then suggest that you take online classes or apply for a relevant certification in order to become more marketable.
How to Find a Mentor
- Around the office. In some cases, you can find a qualified mentor simply by asking around at work. Someone who has been working for the company for a long time may be willing to provide guidance to a new employee.
- Within the corporation. Many larger corporations sponsor mentoring programs to help new employees learn about the company. Individuals looking for a mentor can learn about these programs by contacting the company’s human resources department.
- Outside the company. Depending on the industry, entry-level professionals may be able to find mentors by asking around town, joining associations related to the professional’s field, or contacting the career center at a local college or university.
- On the Internet. The Internet offers many more options to individuals looking for mentors. You can search for mentors by browsing on LinkedIn or by connecting with other seasoned professionals on forums or blogs.
About the Guest Author
Melissa Crossman is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area with her two dogs. She writes extensively about education and technology and blogs on behalf of American InterContinental University.