Looking for A Career Mentor

Choosing a Career Direction by Vic PontrelliThe following article was posted as a comment on my FOOD JOBS blog. It is most interesting. So thank you Tony for allowing me to share it.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for Aveta Business Institute which offers six sigma online training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Who Is A Career Mentor?

A career mentor is someone who acts as a counselor, a motivator, and a guiding force in your career. This would be a person with whom you can talk freely and from whom you can expect to receive sound, unbiased career advice.

A mentor is usually a person who is experienced, someone in your company or a similar industry who is higher in the hierarchy, or someone whom you have worked with in the past and still share a cordial relationship.

A good mentor will ideally provide you with impartial advice, as well as coach and guide you. Such a person is someone who will not only help you get a call for a coveted interview, but will also help you perform well in such interviews and increase your chances of getting a good job.

Traditionally, mentoring is something that you would not purchase and would not require a monetary exchange. The relationship between a mentor and a person being mentored is far higher than what money can buy.

Finding a Career Mentor

  • It is usually futile to expect your manager to be your mentor. A manager and his juniors usually have different interests while working towards a common goal, and it is not best to tangle those interests in with a mentorship situation.
  • Someone higher up in the company can more suitably qualify as your mentor.
  • You can also look for someone within the industry and affiliated with your company or in the similar line of business. However, it is not a good idea to approach your direct competitors.
  • The person mentoring you should be someone you are able to admire and for whom you have high value and respect. The person should be very motivating, as well as stimulating. It is desirable that the two of you share some common traits like values, style of working, and a sense of humor.

Having a Meaningful Relationship

  • Friendship should preferably not be the criteria in a mentor relationship. It should be based on mutual respect, honesty, and reliance.
  • A mentor’s concern should be appropriately reciprocated with any help that he or she might require in something where you might be able to help. Even a simple card, or a small Christmas present goes a long way to say that you really appreciate what he/she is doing for you.
  • You should always respect the time that your mentor is giving to you. You shouldn’t push the person by calling at unexpected times or being too needy. If things can wait, they should preferably be held until the next meeting.
  • Everybody requires different levels of help so you can mutually decide on your meeting times, which may take place every other week, once a month, or on an at-need basis.

Having a good mentor can significantly boost your career prospects and growth. So what are you waiting for – find a mentor now!

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