Choosing a career can be one of the most important decisions of your life, whether you want to turn your passion into a life’s work or follow in the footsteps of someone you admire. However, choosing a career that suits your talents and personality is usually only half the battle, as honing your skills to be the best at what you do can be a challenge as well. While there are several strategies for maintaining your edge and daily commitment to a career choice, finding a mentor can be one of the most effective.
1. Avoid Newbie Errors
Whether you landed a job at a high-profile company or recently launched a startup, you are more likely to make errors that more seasoned professionals know to avoid. These might be financial errors, such as failing to reinvest the right amount of capital into your fledgling business or office culture blunders like befriending those who revel in office gossip. Avoiding these mistakes with the help of a mentor can help put you on a positive path from the start so you do not have to waste time recovering later.
A career mentor can help you learn from experience in several ways, and finding one that communicates in a way that best helps you retain the lesson is often one of the most important factors in the pupil/mentor relationship. Do not be afraid to speak with a variety of prospective mentors before choosing one that best suits your situation and learning style.
2. Reap the Benefits of Experience
Career mentors have likely been through a variety of experiences during their time spent in the workforce, and you can learn from their stories. Take the time to listen effectively and absorb the lessons, especially if you have come to your mentor for advice. Learning from his or her experiences can help you refocus your goals, see a new solution to a problem, or feel comforted that others have faced and overcome a difficult issue identical to the one you have currently.
3. Help With Planning for the Future
Having a mentor who can help you make decisions about the future of your career might give you more confidence with your choices. For example, if you have been at a new job for a year but feel that you are not on the right path that will give you the opportunity to reach your goals, talking with your mentor can allow you to step outside the scope of your own perceptions and revisit your plans for the future.
If you are running a startup, having an entrepreneurial mentor can be beneficial for creating both short and long-term goals for your business. Finding an individual who can mentor you in an area you are not confident with, such as marketing or hiring, might allow you to avoid procrastination and create realistic goals for these aspects of your business.
4. Renewed Focus in Hard Times
Bad days at work are bound to happen, even if you love what you are doing. Finding motivation and focus during when things go wrong can be difficult, especially when you are feeling disillusioned about the career you have chosen. Having someone to turn to can lift your spirits, especially when it is a mentor who has been through the same challenges.
Having a mentor with like-minded values can give you comfort when you are having doubts about your career, such as an older fraternity brother. If you are currently an undergraduate and need guidance, consider signing up for Sigma Chi Mentorship to meet someone who can support you when the road to success in your career is not as clear as you want it to be.
Finding happiness in your career choice can be challenging, no matter which field you choose. However, connecting with a mentor may provide you with support, wisdom, and advice you need to face the future.
Featured Image: Shutterstock