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Career Monday: 6 Advantages of Having a Mentor and How to Find One for You

The most successful people have mentors guiding their progress. It’s difficult to overestimate the positive influence a mentor can have on your success. Finding a great mentor is a challenge, but it’s worth the work. A mentor can take you places you’ve never been and do so at breakneck speed. Consider finding a mentor to assist with your aspirations.

A mentor is invaluable for several reasons:

1. A mentor has walked the path. A mentor has already accomplished your long-term goals. If your dream is to become a Wall Street tycoon, professional baseball coach, or a successful artist, it only makes sense to find someone that has accomplished that same goal.

• They know the reality of the situation. Everyone else is speculating.

2. You’ll have the guidance you need to set appropriate goals. Are you sure about the next step to reach your long-term goals? A mentor would possess that information.

• You can be enthusiastic, serious, and capable, but your progress will be limited if you’re headed in the wrong direction.

3. You’ll gain the necessary tools in time to use them. Have you ever been in a position that required tools you didn’t have? A mentor will ensure you have the necessary skills before you need them.

• Most of us decide to learn after we’ve failed. It’s much more effective to be prepared. A mentor will point you in the right direction before it’s too late.

4. You have access to their contacts. An appropriate mentor will be successful and as result, will know the right people. The saying, “It’s all about who you know.” is largely true. When everything else is equal, people would rather take a chance on someone they know. A mentor can introduce you to the people that will take you to the next level.

5. You receive an unbiased, yet experienced, opinion. It’s not easy to make the best decisions when your knowledge is lacking. A mentor can fill that gap.

6. A committed mentor will bring you opportunities. A mentor won’t just introduce you to influential people. He will also introduce you to the right opportunities. Once your mentor puts the word out, he will occasionally be presented with opportunities that match your growth needs. He may also seek out opportunities on your behalf.

Finding a Mentor that’s Right for You

Having a mentor has many benefits! However, the obvious question is, “How do I find a mentor?”

Try these strategies:

1. Reach out to the experts in your field. Start out at the very top. While it’s unlikely that Bill Gates or the Dalai Lama will grant your request, you might find they’re willing to point you in the right direction. If that doesn’t work, work your way down the list. The perfect mentor is just waiting for someone to ask.

2. Go online. There are websites that connect mentors with those looking for a mentor. One such example is www.findamentor.com. There are many other options available.

3. Be prepared to show your level of commitment. A world-class expert might only consider working with someone that’s prepared to change the world. If your ambitions are a little more modest, you may need to convince your potential mentor that you’re serious. Everyone’s time is limited and they all want to spend it wisely.

Finding a mentor will make it possible for you to achieve success quickly and smoothly. A mentor will help you take advantage of the best opportunities and avoid the speed bumps. If you don’t have a mentor, start looking for one today!

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Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

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