We all need someone to look up to, someone who will guide us along the way and teach us invaluable lessons in whichever career you are in. Your mentor can be anyone from your boss, a senior colleague or a professor. A mentor, at any point in your career, can be extremely helpful and here are some reasons why.
Related: How to find a mentor
Outlook and Knowledge
You can immensely benefit from the vast amount of knowledge and experience that your mentor has. Pick your mentor’s brain regarding projects you find difficult and challenging projects that you know will get you ahead if you execute them right. Your mentor can introduce you to new techniques and work around to make your task easier based on his or her experience in the past.
Expand the way you think
Your mentor can help you think beyond the conventional ideas and allow you to explore more outside the box. At first, you may be hesitant to take risks or get too creative, but your mentor will be able to tell you how much is acceptable and how much is too far. This is a great thing to have. Mentors will push you to be more original and break barriers to succeed because they have been there themselves. Having a mentor who pushes you to think and be innovative will reap immense benefits in your later career.
Clearing your path
If you are just starting your career or a fresh graduate who has no idea what you want to do or progress in the career that you are currently in, a mentor will help you realise your full potential and guide you along the way. Your mentor will give you a much-needed sense of direction. You can also discuss your worries about your career with your mentor, and he or she will lay down a plan that is most suited for you and your skills, showing you the big picture along the way.
Help in building a network
Networking, as you know, is very important if you are even to stand a chance in getting ahead. It’s no longer just book and street smarts anymore, you now need to have a connection and a set of valuable networks to rely on. Since your mentor has been in the industry for years now, he or she will have a network that you can join in on and be a part of. Make full use of this opportunity. Mentors will be more than happy to introduce you to their network and will be proud to let them know you are their prodigy.
Open opportunities and possibilities
Because of the vast network and connections that your mentor has, you will be exposed to a wide variety of opportunities and career path possibilities. Mentors who are board members often take their mentees along with them to the board meeting so they would get hands on experience and meet the people who matter in person.