How could finding a mentor help my career growth?

At MJD Executive, a recruitment agency in Sydney, we are strong advocates for having a mentor! Many of us have more than one ourselves and like to think that we act as mentors in one way or another to many of our clients and candidates.

Why do we think it is so valuable to have a business mentor? When you think about it, family and friends have been ‘personal mentors’ all of your life, helping you navigate and make decisions for yourself as you hit new stages of life. Those that have ‘been there and done that’ can provide invaluable insight and support at these times. Your career is a major part of your life, so why wouldn’t you enlist someone that you trust, who has ‘been there before’ to help guide you?

Here are some of our top reasons for enlisting a mentor:

A trusted mentor can provide you with constructive, honest feedback about your skillset and areas where you may need to develop. How often does your one on one with your direct Manager truly focus on you and your development? We are all time poor these days, including our bosses, so often a one on one will be spent covering task related matters, rather than personal development.  Most employees are so mindful of the limited time that their boss has for them and choose not to push what they consider to be personal agendas, often until it’s too late.

Having someone that has committed to being a sounding board for you, allows you to feel more comfortable about raising issues that are about you, particularly performance based ones. How are you going to improve your abilities to tackle these task related matters with more innovation and scope if you don’t grow? By addressing things that are concerning you more often, you are freed up to remain focused and tackle new challenges with a fresh mind and approach.

An experienced mentor can help at times of key decision making. Thinking about leaving your job? At a crossroad in your career and don’t know what to do next? Uncertain about how to approach a difficult boss about an issue? All of these career related decisions and so many more are often contemplated with emotion – and fair enough! But who are you turning to help ensure that you think clearly and logically about your decision making process? A good mentor will be compassionate towards the emotions that these issues raise, but will challenge and engage your logical thinking toward making a really well thought out business decision. I’m afraid to say it, but my mother was often right when she said ‘I know better’ – someone with experience beyond your years often does, even if we can see it at the time.

Build your confidence and be your own personal cheer squad. We often see a huge benefit from mentors when people are preparing for and attending interviews. Selling yourself at interview for a role that you really want can be challenging for some. Enlisting a mentor that truly understands your strengths and weaknesses and how to motivate you to be ‘at your best’ on the day can make a huge difference.

An internal company mentor can help you to navigate through a new company culture. Have you recently joined a large corporate business? Realised just how much you have to learn about the culture – and cultures within the culture? Identifying an internal mentor might be your saving grace. It can take years to truly understand the ins and outs of a big business, or one that has a long, intricate history like a family run company. Take a shortcut and align yourself with a trusted internal mentor to help you navigate through the who’s who! Be upfront and let the person know that you are looking for their help and that your intentions are purely to ensure that you can be a strong contributor as soon as possible.

Help you network outside your company or industry, opening up new avenues to grow and develop in to. If you are feeling a little pigeon holed in your industry and need help finding a way to break out in to something new, an external mentor outside of your sector is of great benefit. Try to source someone that you know is well connected, with a background in many different areas themselves, a confident networker that is happy to approach their acquaintances on your behalf.

A mentor external to your industry sector can also help you bring new and fresh ideas to approaching your job and impressing your boss. For example, an Executive Assistant who has always worked within the financial services sector may benefit from having a mentor that is an Executive within the media space when tackling marketing related tasks.

Want some help identifying who the best mentor might be for you? Or want to enlist a Recruitment Consultant as one of your business mentors? Call the experienced team at MJD Executive today to discuss 02 8042 1840. We specialise in positions for Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, Receptionists and other Office Support Staff.

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