Who do you turn to in times of personal turmoil? Who is that person with the voice of reason and trust in your life? Who ALWAYS has your back through the best and the worst of times?
We all have someone whether it is a sister, best friend, or trusted colleague that we share our life changes with – someone we express our concerns to and from whom we gladly accept unbiased advice and direction.
Who do you call when your career is in trouble? If you are simply turning to close friends and family when you are stuck in your career progress, you are missing out on a vital resource that can benefit you for years to come – a mentor.
Every professional woman should have a mentor. A mentor is ideally someone who is a supportive ally, who can offer you exposure to major assignments, help position you for promotions and serve as your personal cheerleader as your advance in your career.
Still not sure that a mentor will your career a much needed boost? Here are seven reasons:
Direct introduction or referrals to top players in your organization especially if you work in a very large, multi-layered organization.
Personal guidance on building strong relationships and getting access to key individuals who can help you excel in your career.
Access to the inside scoop on corporate culture and tips for navigating company politics or learning to “play the game.”
Recommendations for high-profile projects and company initiatives and even strong support for new internal job opportunities.
Advice on your business strategy, your personal communication skills and honest feedback on your professional reputation.
Information on what is going on at the top of the company and long-term issues that would impact your career growth.
Good direction on how to balance work and life demands without sacrificing your career goals.
So, what makes an ideal mentor? It really depends on where you are in your career and what your immediate priorities are, however, a good rule of thumb to follow is:
someone who is very successful in his/her career, a respected leader, an excellent communicator and who genuinely encourages and supports others in the same profession or field.
someone who is direct, honest and can give valuable, constructive criticism and advice.
someone who is well-connected, active in volunteer/community activities and very politically astute.