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For Career Advice, Nothing Is More Valuable Than a Mentor

Think about your world and the people that surround you in your professional landscape or even in your volunteer roles. Is there someone you could count on for insight?

One of my favorite quotes is this one of Zig Ziglar’s: “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.”

I’m a huge proponent of having a mentor. I have several, both male and female. All my mentors are people I have worked with or volunteered for at some point in my life. They understand my strengths and weakness and help to guide me in the right direction. When a new business opportunity arises, they are the ones I always consult with because I know they won’t hesitate to tell me whether I will sink — or rise to the occasion.

What makes a mentor?

A good mentor-mentee relationship isn’t something that is forced. It forms naturally. Mentors take a vested interest in your career and helping you succeed. They are wonderful because they use their experience to help guide you to your fullest potential. They can help you handle everything from office politics to deciding on that next degree to moving on from an employer because you have grown as much as you can in that position.

I am now a mentor to several young ladies and it is exciting when they call or email me with questions and to share successes. I can see myself in their eyes and now know what it feels like for my mentors when I call them.

One of my mentees calls me her “career cheerleader.” I never asked any of my mentors if they would assume that role; they just did, naturally. Chances are there is someone from your day-to-day routine that you are not shy about talking to for career advice. That person is your mentor — and your career cheerleader.

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