“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
To quote Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”, couldn’t be more correct when it comes to finding a mentor.
I truly believe it is critical in today’s business world to find yourself one or two mentors to help you grow both professionally and personally. Finding a mentor in your career field/industry is very important in that it can give you guidance from someone who has already “been there, done that”. Someone who has gone through the challenges and struggles, learned from mistakes, put in the work and has risen above the obstacles. It is especially critical as a young business professional to find a good mentor in your field. As a young business professional just starting out your career, for the most part you are a blank slate – full of questions and concerns. Finding a mentor in your field will help drive you, provide clarity, answer questions and increase your confidence.
I also think it is important to find a mentor outside of your career field/industry. Someone who is knowledgeable and professional, who can push you outside of your comfort zone. Find someone who you admire professionally, someone that you can learn from, someone to push you, question you and that will help you grow to where you aspire to be as a person.
Find a mentor who has the time for you and you genuinely wants to help you succeed. Having lunch with a mentor once every six months doesn’t work. Make it a routine meeting every couple of weeks and come prepared. Have questions, scenarios, concerns and plans ready to go that you can discuss and take notes. Take lots of notes! Once you have finished your meeting with your mentor, take time to reflect on your conversation and put into place an action plan with target dates of goal completion. Hold yourself accountable for meeting these goals.
A mentor should not just tell you what to do, they should involve you in the process. Being a part of the process is the only way moving forward will be successful. Understand that not everything will work the first time around and you will need to make adjustments based on what you feel comfortable with and what works for you. That is what your mentor is there for. To help you when you have to take two steps back to move forward again.
Find right mentor that will help push and guide you… you may surprise yourself on how far you can go.
Jennifer Charron is a Recruitment Partner at Lucas Professional Search Group.