You have a great educational background, significant work experience, and impressive extracurriculars. But you’re still having a hard time taking the next step in your career. Why? The answer could be you haven’t found the right mentor. Here are four reasons why you need a mentor to take your career to the next level.
1. Mentors keep you focused on professional development
The best mentors are great teachers. They’ll not only teach you and tell you about their experiences but will also provide you with feedback, so you know what you can improve and work on. And they’ll give you all the necessary tools to focus on your professional development. Through their support, you’ll stay focused on developing the right skills and experiences—which is essential to propel your career to the next step.
2. Mentors hold you accountable
Surprising as it may sound, you are your mentors’ prodigy. The right mentors won't take on just any person who wants to advance in their career. Much like your efforts of finding the right mentor, mentors will also focus on finding the right mentee. So, if a mentor identifies you as their mentee, they’ll want to see you succeed. This means they won't go easy on you when things are going south. But don't think of this in a negative light. Mentors will hold you accountable solely for helping you achieve your goals. So, in a sense, they motivate mentees to work even harder to attain their goals.
3. Mentors expand your network
A strong network is essential to propelling your career to new heights. But unfortunately, expanding your network without a mentor is harder to do. Gaining access to a mentor's network presents you with an excellent opportunity to expand your own. Ultimately, a mentor will introduce you to key individuals who can help you achieve your goals and develop your career. With every new person your mentor introduces you to, you’re presented with an opportunity to further grow and propel your career.
4. Mentors teach you how to lead
If you want to propel your career, you need to start working on your leadership skills. Throughout a mentor relationship, you passively learn these skills, since most mentors are leaders by nature. A leader is a person who can guide, motivate, and inspire individuals to be the best possible version of themselves. Leaders are excellent listeners, empathetic, and patient. During your meetings with your mentor, you’ll absorb these skills—and then be able to use them as you take your career to the next level.
Erik Bergman is an entrepreneur who made $50 million before his 30th birthday. He walked away from that role to build a new business founded on innovative and philanthropic principles. In addition to running an organization that donates 100 percent of its profits to environmental charities, he also spends time writing for sites like Business Insider, interviewing for features for outlets like Forbes and Foundr, hosting the Becoming Great podcast, and guesting on other podcasts like Mixergy, Ridiculously Human, and Hack the Entrepreneur.
On your career path, you’re going to need a lot of resources, and a mentor should be at the top of your list. A mentor is someone who can give you all sorts of professional advantages, from sharing life wisdom to connecting you with other subject matter experts.
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