“Colleagues are a wonderful thing – but mentors, that’s where the real work gets done.”
— Junot Diaz
We spend the majority of our lives studying, learning, networking and working toward our career development for a good reason:
On average, people spend nearly 14 years of their lives at work.
And that’s only after the years of education required to get there. But aside from the lectures, research projects and reading assignments, there’s one important component that makes even more of an impact on the future of students, and that’s mentorship.
“Five years ago, researchers at Gallup took a close look at the link between education and professional success. By studying various polls of students, teachers, parents, business leaders, and more, they found that the type of institution where people got their educations--whether it was public or private, for instance--didn’t make a difference in whether people achieved success in the long run. What did make a significant difference, however, was whether or not people had had a mentor while in school.” —Skillshare.com
From providing a clear direction to helping develop the soft skills and self-awareness required to succeed personally and professionally, having a mentor is the primary difference between the fast track to fulfillment or years of stressful trial and error. Wherever you are in your career journey, here are the top 4 reasons why having a career mentor should be on your list of goals for the year ahead:
1. To Determine and Pursue Your Calling
Too often, students aren’t equipped with the real-world knowledge needed to make informed decisions when deciding which direction they want to take professionally. As a result, many end up following traditional career paths that don’t necessarily provide long-term fulfillment and opportunity when entering the workforce. The future of work is evolving, and with the many changes predicted to take place within the next decade, so does finding a career path that offers both security and growth potential. From determining the career best suited for your personality to providing the direction needed to get there, working with a mentor helps you establish goals and holds you accountable each step of the way.
2. To Receive Insight and Honest Feedback
A good mentor provides encouragement and support, but also the constructive feedback to help you develop and carve the path that’s best for you. Whether you need guidance on which direction to take, how to excel in your internships or want to work on improving your interview skills, an experienced mentor will give you the insight and understanding you can’t find anywhere else.
3. To Make Connections and Build Your Network
Despite today’s advanced technology, the importance of networking hasn’t changed much over time. Take this example:
“Around the turn of the 20th century, Austrian painter Egon Schiele actively sought out the guidance of Gustav Klimt, who was nearly thirty years his senior. In turn, Klimt championed the younger artist’s work; in addition to securing him a major exhibition, he introduced him to the works of preeminent artists and connected him to affluent art collectors. In 1917, they even joined forces to create an exhibition venue of their own.” —Skillshare.com
Today, interpersonal skills and relationship building continue to be the most influential factors in professional success. When it comes to networking, a mentor can assist with finding opportunities, developing the soft skills to network effectively, and create mutually beneficial partnerships with confidence.
4. To Leave Your Comfort Zone and Discover New Possibilities
Maybe you chose a career based on the success you’ve seen from those before you, but don’t truly feel like it’s a fit for you. Or, maybe you have an idea of the path you want to take but need both the encouragement and a strategic roadmap to actually get there. Wherever you are in your career journey, PathMatch can help.