An excellent way to get ahead at work is by identifying a career mentor early on in your career development. A career mentor is someone who works in the same or similar profession as you and who has years of experience in the industry. This person either works at your company or within your industry. They can be a co-worker, a former supervisor, a former professor, a hired career coach, or even a family friend who works the same type of career as you. In this week’s focus, we will discuss how to effectively use a career mentor to get ahead at work.
Create Your Definition of Success
One of the first steps in using a career mentor to get ahead at work is to create your definition of success. You will only succeed at work when you have your own definition of success and do not follow someone else’s definition. Your definition will include ideas about money, work-life balance, company culture, recognition for work performed and control over your creative juices. You need to decide which of these areas are most important to you because not everyone will succeed in all of them.
Identify the Mentor’s Problems
The second step after choosing a mentor and creating a definition of success is to identify the mentor’s problems. No one is perfect and this goes for your mentor too. You need to figure out what your mentor’s shortfalls are by befriending their critics. When you befriend their critics, you will be able to learn what it is they need to work on in order to be more successful in their careers. If you can learn their shortfalls early in your career, you can do your best to avoid them at all costs.
Strive to Be as Good as Your Mentor
Another important tip to using a career mentor to get ahead at work is to strive to be as good as they are, but not identical to them. Do not try to become this person in all aspects of life. Only work your hardest to be as good as the mentor while on the job. This will help you perform well and impress your employer so your career can catapult to a new level.
Switch Activities You and Your Mentor Perform
Make sure the activities you and your mentor take part in vary as much as possible. You do not want to get into a set routine with a mentor because this will not benefit your career at all. Consider having discussions with your mentor about past experiences, issues at work, how to impress clients and much more. You can also review resumes, cover letters and articles written about the job.
Do your best to find a mentor who is truly dedicated to helping you succeed in your career. When you do so, be sure to express your gratitude towards them and never take advantage of their time.