Are you feeling like you’re going it alone—particularly if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while? Are you concerned employers might be concerned that your skills are not fully up to date?
Have you considered finding a mentor?
Professional mentors can be very valuable in learning a new career, advancing your current career, and connecting with leaders in your targeted industry. There are a number of benefits to developing a relationship with a knowledgeable mentor.
“Mentors can do a number of things for your career. They can help you build your resume, guide you on a project, and help you identify resources, including referring you to other mentors and important people in your field,” says Ken Williams, Director of the New Voices National Fellowship Program and author of the monograph “Mentoring the Next Generation.”
Mentors provide jobseekers with help and support they might not otherwise have access to. Employment counselors can assist with the job search in general, but having a mentor in your chosen field or at your targeted company can supply more specific and beneficial information.
How do you find a mentor?
Of course the first steps involve identifying your chosen field and/or target company. Use LinkedIn or other networks to find organizations that work in your area of interest and look for their leaders. Then find out how, or if, they are connected to you. If you have a connection in common, ask for an introduction to that person. Mentors do not necessarily need to be the most senior person you can find, but look for the person who possesses the right knowledge or skills you hope to gain.
A mentor-mentee (or protégé) relationship can be as casual or as formal as you wish it. You can communicate with them via email, phone or in person. One thing to keep in mind is that having a mentor, like any other networking relationship, should be about mutual benefit. Let them know you are willing to be a resource to them. Be willing to connect them to others in your network to fill their needs. Then sustain the relationship by staying in touch, sharing your successes and making sure the mentor knows how valuable their time and insight is.
- How a Mentor Can Accelerate Your Career (mashable.com)
- Benefits of mentoring (reed.co.uk)
- 5 Simple But Strategic Steps For Finding a Good Mentor (money.usnews.com)