Isabella Turner explains why commencing work in your desired industry can often be a difficult and stressful process. But, through the right guidance, support and shared value set, an industry mentor serves as a productive opportunity to gain invaluable experience, enhance your knowledge and in developing a wider network of connections.
In finding a suitable mentor to work with, it is important that you understand the notion of what a mentor is and the role they play.
Like they say, nothing great is ever achieved alone
The idea of a mentor is that they use their knowledge and expertise to assist in the development of your career through avenues such as motivation, decision making, support and relationship building activities.
Take a look at some of the benefits in having an industry mentor
As a guide in making decisions
When you’re first starting off in your desired industry, it can often feel overwhelming when faced with the need to make decisions. This usually comes with the process of contemplating which decisions are “right” and the ones that may seem “wrong”. By having a mentor who you can turn to, someone who has more than likely encountered the situations you’re currently experiencing, this can take the strain off decision making processes.
Having an industry mentor may give you alternative perspectives, encourage new modes of thinking and may provide you with unique insights that you may not have gained through your peers, friends or colleagues.
To help provide direction
Having access to a mentor can greatly facilitate in helping determine a suitable direction to take. This direction might involve sitting down with the mentor and mapping out your desired journey together or listening to your mentor talk about their how they got to where they did over a cup of coffee.
Establishing a larger network
“Over 80 percent of jobs are acquired through networking”
Mentors can play a strong role in helping form connections due to their larger network. Through accessing some of your mentor’s networks, not only does this allow you to expand your knowledge, it also may increase your chances in obtaining work and tapping into further resources. These accessible networks may also create good contacts for future projects later on in your career.
Although it is perceived that the role of mentor is to provide knowledge and information to the mentee, don’t underestimate what you as a mentee can offer to them. From a mentor’s perspective, they are gaining the ability to undertake leadership responsibilities, enhancing communication skills and increasing capabilities through professional development. Taking on the role of a mentor can also be a deeply rewarding opportunity through witnessing the mentee’s growth through the mentor’s expertise.
As a mentee, in maximising the opportunity to work with the mentor, it is important that you are actively engaged, implementing or considering aspects of their knowledge or advice and to take up opportunities that may be presented to you.
Complimenting your university knowledge
The insights and knowledge shared by your mentor may compliment your learning gained from your university degree. This is a productive opportunity to witness your education and working world knowledge collide!
While these are some of the key benefits, having a mentor who can assist in even one of these elements serves as a positive contribution to your learning and your experience.
If you are faced with the opportunity to gain an industry mentor, keep these benefits in mind. Also, ensure that your mentor is a “suitable fit” for you through similar values, attitudes and an empathic and honest mindset.
Get in touch and let us know about your mentor or mentee experiences!