Thursday, January 11, 2018

#PoweringYourCareer with Mentoring : Navigate the career you always wanted!

This is the first of my #PoweringYourCareer series in 2018. In this series, every month, I will share the experiences I’ve had and what I’ve learnt through my 15 years of corporate life, in the hope that this will help some of you. Let me know if there is a topic that interests you, you can email me at:

The first in the series is about Mentoring. I will confess, I’ve been a laggard with jumping on the mentoring bandwagon. For a long time I would hear stories from my co-workers and friends about how their mentors at work would help them with their career and day-to-day work issues. Now, after a few years of having mentored new hires and having discovered inspiring mentors myself, I understand what the din was all about.

The benefits of having a mentor are manifold, especially if you choose wisely. Here are three scenarios where I’ve found mentoring to be really helpful:

1. Get a Head start: Look for mentors who inspire you or have a career path that you would like to emulate. These leaders can provide you with invaluable insights from their own journey that will help you learn from the mistakes they made or what they did right. Of course every journey is different, but their stories can give you ideas to accelerate your career.

2. Plan your Next step: Identify mentors who lead teams you want to be a part of. The time you spend with your mentor can help them understand your skill sets and assess you as a potential hire and it also gives you an opportunity to understand whether it is indeed the team you want to work for. When you are ready to make the next move or when an opportunity opens up in their team, you will be well positioned. In times of job instability and org restructuring, having leaders that could guide you and potentially hire you is a great asset to have.

3. Learn and Grow: Having a mentor definitely helps us learn and grow in our careers. Talking to someone more experienced brings forth perspectives we might not have thought of, opens the door to experiences we might not have considered before. I’ve had mentors talk to me about books they read, conferences they like to attend, challenges they look for at work, non-profits they work with, things they are passionate about outside of work etc., all of which help me become a better professional and person.

What has been your experience with mentors?

Image courtesy: Canva

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