Should You Bother Looking For A Career Mentor?

Let’s rewind. Whether you are a new college graduate or a seasoned professional, do you remember when you thought you knew exactly what your career would entail? Most of us likely held an inaccurate view of the working world. That’s where a career mentor or a trusted counselor comes into play.

Building career mentor relationships can help you navigate and clarify your career path. Serving as a professional mentor, whether through formal programs or casual settings, can also help you refine your own objectives and goals. Even with a few years of experience, it’s possible to help undergraduate students and young professionals kick-start their careers by sharing your own experiences about day-to-day office life, networking, improving résumés and cover letters, and how to market yourself in the digital space.

Similarly, sitting on the other side of casual mentor relationships can be extremely beneficial to gain important insights about how to exceed workplace expectations and effectively manage others.

If you are a young professional, finding a role model in the workplace can be your ticket to success. From simple pointers, such as dress code recommendations, to larger-scale discussions, like career and education diversity, these conversations will help you develop a clear understanding of your own objectives.

Whether you’re a new college graduate at your first real job, reentering the workplace after an extended absence, or anywhere in between, finding a career mentor can be an intimidating task. Look to people who have been at the company longer than you — whether they’re your peers or your higher-ups — who are willing to give you advice and guidance. Many times, these relationships develop naturally over lunch or coffee breaks without the need for a formal program or feeling like you’re in the book Are You My Mother?

Additionally, many professional associations, alumni groups, and even some companies have formal professional mentorship programs that take out the guesswork for you.

And no matter your career level, there are always younger, fresher faces that can benefit from your knowledge. Use your experiences, both positive and negative, to help guide and inspire them. For example, stress the importance of body language or sharpening writing skills. Things that may seem obvious and natural to you may be new territory for a younger professional or college student.

What’s the most beneficial advice you’ve received from a career mentor?



About the Author

Founded in 1994, The Quell Group is a metro Detroit-based integrated brand communication firm dedicated to building better brands through a method called Unknot. Align. Market.® The unique approach combines strategic market assessment, value-added messaging and marketing strategies to foster client opportunities for success.

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