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Don’t Have a Mentor, Yet? Here’s Why You Need One ASAP As a Young Professional

As a young professional, having a mentor can greatly impact your first few years on the job. When looking for a mentor, make sure it’s someone you can depend on who is an active listener, supportive of your career field, and has experience or a unique perspective in the field you work in. By finding the right mentor, you can gain vital skills, experience, and invaluable knowledge to support your career for long-lasting success.

Here are five reasons every young professional should have a mentor.

Continued Education

You’ve been through years of formal education to understand specific topics and skills, but being on the job or in a career field is different from sitting in a classroom. Your mentor provides the opportunity to continue learning. Mentors can also help you learn more about yourself and share valuable insights on making informed decisions that will lead to the best outcomes. Mentors can also provide recommendations on continued education, certifications, or networking events that can help you grow in your career.

Perspective from a Seasoned Professional

Learning from a more experienced mentor is an opportunity worth pursuing. As a young professional, getting lost at the start of it all is easy. Having a mentor can give you perspective to live in the moment and take a step back so you can see your career and growth from a new vantage point. Seasoned professionals have also been in the field for a long time and can share unique experiences and tools to help you excel.

Accountability

Having a mentor provides a sense of accountability. Your mentor can offer support to accomplish your goals and desires but will also be there if you fall behind. When working with a mentor, they can help develop and realize your goals and create a plan to achieve them. After years of having teachers or living with your parents, transitioning to being a young professional can be confusing and complicated when no one is there to hold you accountable. Being held accountable is a great skill to hone as young professionals enter a new career field or are just starting out. Mentors can help you achieve that.

 Challenged Thinking

As a young professional, it’s hard to know what steps to take, where to go next, when to challenge the norm, and when to form your own opinion. A mentor will be there to challenge you to be the best you can be, push you to find what inspires you, and keep your ideas realistic. Creating too many goals or goals that are far-fetched will not be beneficial. Your mentor will be there to pinpoint what matters most.

Connection

Networking is great, but having a mentor offers a stronger connection. Mentorship is a partnership and having someone along for the ride when applying for new jobs, joining a new association, or when you need references makes it easier. Having a mentor involved in your career can make you stand out when pursuing new opportunities.

 Having a mentor sounds great, but how do you get one?

Finding a mentor is often a straightforward process, but there is some work on the front end to ensure you set yourself up for success. Here are some tips to ensure you’re on the right track.

  • Create a list of goals and aspirations you want out of your career.
    • Before finding a mentor, knowing where you want to be is important. This will help give you and your mentor a starting point when first meeting.
  • Investigate who has your dream job and whom you admire.
    • This is ideal for pinpointing good options for a mentor. They should understand your career and be able to lead you on a path they understand.
  • Tap into your professional network.
    • You may already have someone in your network who could be a good fit for mentorship. Maybe a former teacher, boss, or coworker.
  • Find someone who truly embodies, understands, and knows your role and the industry.
    • Be specific in your search. A mentor with a general idea of your work and industry may not be worth the time and effort. Find someone who truly knows what you need.

Still not sure where to start?

Let’s Detroit is a great resource to connect, learn, and find a mentor. Find a career ambassador who could potentially become your mentor by visiting letsdetroit.com/grow-your-network.

Written by Megan Lasley

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