Career Advice

4 Reasons You Need A Professional Mentor

When it comes to your career, everyone needs advice. But it’s not always easy to find honest people who will challenge you, help you and are willing to share their secret wisdom, skills, and expertise with you.

In fact, PwC’s 2015 Global CEO Survey found 73 percent of CEOs said job candidates not possessing desired skills is a major concern. That alone creates a need for workplace mentoring and coaching from others.

In addition, the job search process is more competitive than ever before. Find a mentor who can introduce you to the right people and refer your skillset — you never know who is in their professional network.

Here are four reasons why you need to find a mentor who will invest in your future:

1. They keep things real.

A mentor is responsible for being honest and telling you like it is. They put things in perspective and let you know if have areas in need of improvement.

An honest mentor will tell you when you’re being stubborn, when they think you should quit your job, or when they notice you’ve given up on a dream you had a long time ago.

Your mentor’s job isn’t to tear your confidence down, but they should help you learn appropriate business behavior by giving you an opportunity for self-examination and growth.

2. They can relate to the struggle and guide you out of it.

Finding the job you want is no easy feat — especially right out of college. Entering the ‘real world’ can be a bit of a culture shock. But there will always be someone who has gone through a similar career struggle.

You need to find a mentor who has worked in the same industry — at least at some point in their career — so they understand what you’re going through.

Find a mentor who has a positive outlook on life. They should be able to help you through tough times and show you how to find the opportunity in the difficulties you’re facing.

3. They open the right doors for you.

Simply put, mentors introduce you to the right people.

Look for someone who is well respected and willing to be themselves. A mentor is someone who has the time to be available — someone who is business-savvy, people-smart and has a great reputation.

Before you leave college or a job, establish a connection with an industry professional. During your job search, contact them for advice or suggestions and they might be able to connect you to a position you never thought was possible. Maybe they keep in touch with a past colleague who runs a top PR firm in New York City or they have a dear friend who recruits for a top tech company in Chicago.

Don’t be afraid to utilize their network.

4. They never give up on you — or let you give up on yourself.

Mentors help you set goals. Most often, they invest in your success just as much as you do.

While a mentor can navigate a protégé in the right direction to reach their potential, protégés must still rely upon themselves to succeed. To achieve this, develop an action plan to achieve agreed-upon goals and communicate on a regular basis.

By all means, you do not need to contact your mentor for every life-altering decision, but you need to be on the same page.

No one becomes better at anything by taking the easy route. You’ll need to hit some roadblocks or a fork in the road before you find yourself capable of true inner growth.

In what ways have you found having a mentor helpful for your career?