5 Reasons You Need a Mentor Regardless of Career Level

Female Male Professionals

Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. --Unknown

In the past few years, the concept of mentorship has experienced a resurgence. A mentor is a more experienced or knowledgeable individual who helps or provides advice to someone younger and/or less experienced. This person acts as a counselor, guide, teacher, and confidant and can be important part of career development, whether you are entry-level, mid-level, or even at the executive level.

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Mentor

1. A mentor can act as a job reference. No matter your career level, you may need to provide references if you are applying for a new position. The time spent with your mentor and their status level makes them an excellent choice to speak on your behalf.

2. There’s ALWAYS someone who knows more than you. If you’re farther along in your career, you may be a manager or administrator, and you may not feel the need to rely on anyone else for guidance. But wise individuals know that learning never stops, regardless of age. There’s always something new to learn from others, especially those whose experience exceeds your own. Sometimes there’s even something to be learned from someone younger than yourself or whose experience varies from your own.

3. Mentors make great sounding boards. Are you troubled by a certain situation? Have an idea of what to do, but would like confirmation from someone else? Your mentor is an ideal person to go to in such situations. They can help you to sort out your situation and ensure that your next step is the right one.

4. Your mentor may be able to help you get a job. Although this should not be your first goal in seeking a mentor, we all know that being networked with others, particularly those in our field of work, can help you to find new opportunities. Maybe your mentor is in the place to hire new employees. Or possibly your mentor will be asked by one of their contacts for a recommendation or lead when attempting to fill a position. Your mentor will possess unique and intimate knowledge about you, your level of knowledge, and your work style, so you never know when your mentorship arrangement can lead to a new job.

5. A mentor will keep you accountable as an entry-level or executive. We all need a little accountability in our lives, regardless of our station. We need to have someone looking over us, making sure we are staying on the straight and narrow. We need someone who’s not there to judge, but rather to spur us onto greatness. As we work our way up the career ladder, we may experience less supervisory oversight, but that does not diminish the need to be accountable to ourselves and others. A mentor is the perfect person to provide us with that accountability, regardless of our age or career level.

Although we tend to thinks of mentorship as more useful for those younger in their careers, having a mentor can be a benefit to us all. It’s a sign of strength and wisdom to confer with others in order to gain insight, oversight, and guidance.

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