No matter what stage you’re at in your career, whether you’re starting out or on the brink of a senior position, a career mentor can be a valuable tool. Whether you choose an old manager, a former colleague or a professional coach, a mentor can do amazing things for your career. It’s just a case of choosing the right person!
Find someone who understands you
It is so important that your mentor understands you and where you’re hoping to go in your career. It isn’t essential that they work within your chosen field, however they need to have a good knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that are present. More importantly though they need to understand where you want to take your career in the short and long term. They also have to learn your strengths and weaknesses to be able to really oﬀer their support to your career.
Find someone you trust
Trust is so important when it comes to choosing a mentor. You need someone with empathy who has your best interests at heart. It’s also important that you can speak openly and honestly about your hopes and dreams for your career. If you choose someone that you feel guarded with then you won’t get the most from the relationship and chances are no meaningful career development.
Find a good listener
The ability to listen is such an important quality in a mentor. You need someone who won’t try and steer you in the direction they think is right, but rather listen to what you’re looking for and help you put plans in place to make it happen.
Find someone honest
The last thing you need is someone who will simply tell you everything you want to hear. It’s essential that your career mentor is completely honest with you. Your career route might be unachievable in the current climate or you might have a business idea that really needs more development. A great mentor will use their experience to give you honest advice. Of course they’re not there to tear you down or dampen your enthusiasm, however they are there to make sure you have a realistic view of your career path.
Find someone with strong connections
Someone who can introduce you to important industry figures is a valuable asset. If they’re impressed with you and want to help your career progress, they may invite you along to networking events or arrange meetings with people who could help you take that all important next step. So consider where your mentor is in their career and the type of connections they may have.
Find someone who challenges you
Don’t find someone who simply agrees with everything you say. Find someone who challenges the way you look at your career. A mentor that challenges you can be invaluable when it comes to ensuring that you don’t head down the wrong path. Allowing them to question why you’re making certain decisions can be very helpful.
Find more than one
Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to one mentor. Once you’ve approached one mentor, then feel free to ask someone else who you think also might be able to help. You need to be careful not to
ask anyone of interest, so don’t go overboard. However having a mentor who can help you take steps in the short term and another who understands where you want to be in the longer term can be really helpful.
Find out whether you could be a mentor too!
If you’re climbing the ladder in your career and know the challenges of just starting out then why not put your experience to good use. It’s rewarding to help someone and see them succeed, plus you never know where people will end up in the future, they may end up hiring you!
Whether you’re looking for a role in Construction, Maintenance, Engineering, Architecture, Surveying or Facilities Management, we can help. Our years of experience at CNM Recruitment mean we’re ideally placed to place you in your dream role.