​​Wouldn’t it be great to have someone to handhold you and guide you through the challenges and take you ahead on your career path? Well, this is what a mentor can exactly do for you because they probably have been there, experienced what you may be experiencing and know how to help.

This is also a great help when growth becomes more challenging as we start to progress in our career, and when each decision we make impacts our career course.

Mentoring is essentially is semi-structured guidance where one person shares their knowledge, skills and experience to assist others to progress in their own lives and careers. The mentor may be someone within the organization or from outside but needs to have the right skill, experience and understanding to be helpful.

Mentoring can be availed at any phase in your career and can be a short term agreement until the original reason for the partnership is fulfilled or can last many years.

Here are some benefits of having a career mentor.

You have someone you can trust…always!!

At the workplace, trust is important because people tend to gossip, leak secrets and pull you down. But a mentor is someone you can trust even if you have sensitive issues to discuss. They will be all ears to your ideas, thoughts and questions and keep them safe too.

You have access to experienced advice

Your mentor would probably have been there, faced the same dilemmas and challenges, made mistakes and learned through them. You get access to advise that carries the weight of their experience and knowledge they have gained over the years.

A mentor is your cheerleader as well

When you feel knocked out and ready to give up, turn to your mentor and you will find the best cheerleader to support you. A mentor backs you through thick and thin and encourages you to handle the worse situations with aplomb.

You can expect honest feedback and advice

Honesty is the foundation of this relationship and your mentor will always be honest while sharing their feedback and advice. Whether it is about your behaviour, work-life balance or decisions, they will be candid to speak up when you do things wrong.

They help you grow in all ways

With someone to guide you through the challenges and warn you for your mistakes, you will have the opportunity to grow in all ways. A mentor gives a push start to your career and also helps you to emerge as a stronger and better person.

You need not spend a dime

Good things seldom come free but your relationship with a mentor does. Mentors are usually there to help you without charging a dime for their experienced advice, but it is important to make sure you utilize their time wisely and have a structured approach to your sessions.

Now that you know how amazing it is to have a mentor who’s got your back in all situations, the next obvious questions would be how to find someone who fits the role perfectly. Here are some tips that can help.

  • Accept your need to find a mentor and have an idea about the qualities that you look for in the person. Look for a person who has the potential to bring out the best in you and propel your growth at all levels.

  • Be open and vocal about your need of having someone who can guide you through your career path. Talk to your friends, colleagues and family about your intention and about the kind of person you are looking for. Who knows, someone may just volunteer!

  • Look at the right places where there are good chances to find someone fit for the role. You can identify prospects at your workplace, in social circles, university or online sources such as LinkedIn and professional communities.

  • Enter the relationship with realistic expectations as the mentor may or may not be right for you. If you are convinced, have patience because you cannot expect things to happen overnight.

Mentoring can be life-changing because it can help you see your career and life with a new perspective. Strong belief and conviction in your mentor is important because there may be times when they may not be instantly available, or you may not agree with their advice.

Have a positive attitude and confidence because your mentor will always be there and have the best counsel for you.