“One good mentor could be more informative than a college education and more valuable than a decades income.” – unknown
I have been in the human resources field for over eight years. I have found that the last four years of my career I have been the most confident, productive and creative compared to when I started my career. When I look at what has changed for me over the last four years, the answer is very evident…mentorship. Over the last few years I have partnered with three individuals (one specifically in my industry, a community leader and a leader from outside my industry) who have offered their time, knowledge and support to help me grow professionally and personally.
Below are 3 types of mentors you should seek out and the benefits to each:
Industry Leader – Having a mentor in my field who understands the day-to-day challenges associated with it is invaluable. Someone who has been in my shoes, has learned the challenges of the industry and can offer guidance on how to get to the next step in my career has been a valuable resource to me. A mentor from the same field of work is important as they understand and can relate to the day-to-day challenges that you are going through.
Community Leader – I am currently in a leadership role in my organization, but being a leader to me extends outside of the workplace. Having someone in the community who is knowledgeable and connected has really helped open my eyes to the strengths, challenges and potential in my local community. Having a mentor that is a community leader has given me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and has encouraged me to get more involved and make a difference in the community in which I live and work.
External Leader– It is great to have an opportunity to share challenges and ideas with someone not familiar with your industry or company as they typically provide an honest and unbiased perspective. Having a mentor that is a leader outside of my industry, has provided me with a different approach to situations and an alternative point of view to scenarios that arise in my daily interactions with employees and customers. It also has given me the opportunity to understand how other companies operate and bring different approaches back to my workplace and team.
Mentorship is not a title to be taken lightly. It is a process and with that comes a lot of time, work, understanding and challenges. Finding the right mentor for me has helped guide me on my career path and will continue to push me to achieve the success I am striving for.
Jennifer Charron is the Director of Recruitment Services at Lucas Professional Search Group. She oversees the team of recruiters in Windsor, London and Kitchener. She is an active member of the Windsor community participating in multiple Chamber of Commerce events, Junior Achievement, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Jewish National Fund.