So many articles out there about having a mentor as one of the most important keys to success. I believe this is especially true in the early stages of your career, but is invaluable at just about any life stage. Mentors are usually a few (or many) years ahead in their career and life and can offer so much value and insight! The number of good reasons to have a mentor goes on and on… but to make it simple, here are my top 5 reasons one should be lucky enough to find a great mentor:
- They’ve been there and done that: You can learn from your mentor’s mistakes and avoid making those same mistakes, while you can also learn from their success. Mentors have a longer term perspective on how today’s decisions can affect your career path tomorrow.
- Mentors are unbiased and objective: They see you for who you really are, with no hidden agendas. Your mentor may introduce you to a career path or business opportunity that you did not know existed before, because they are able to view you and your work objectively
- Connections and contacts: Mentors are usually experienced in their field of work and in life in general, which means they have built up a wide network of connections and contacts that would take you years to develop. These connections are priceless and can help enhance your career in ways you couldn’t do yourself.
- Much-needed emotional support: Your spouse, family members and even friends can only understand and support you to a certain degree. They simply don’t understand the ins and outs of your design career – that’s where a mentor would fill the gap of much-needed support and motivation that you’ll need on your often challenging journey.
- It’s FREE: In this day and age, coaching/studying to advance your career can be very costly. Not to mention the fact that there is always the question of whether that particular means of learning/coaching will actually benefit your career. A mentor is a safe bet that costs nothing – enough said.
The key is in finding the right mentor for you. So if you don’t already have one, keep all this in mind when meeting someone you look up to and admire – you never know where that mentoring relationship could lead your career!