One of the quickest ways to fast-forward your career and to get noticed at work or within your industry is to find and work with a mentor.The beauty of having a mentor in your corner is that you can also get personal, one-on-one advice from someone who has been where you are and achieved great success. I have had quite a few mentors, or gurus, in my life. I looked closely at what they did and just modeled their behavior. Of course, some of these gurus were tough on me and I considered them “tormentors.”
Either way, I still got results. Most of all, when gaining new skills, do it because you want to do it. Do it to gain that knowledge, not because you want to earn money at your job. You can take the advice above one-step further by developing a one-on-one relationship with someone in your industry or organization who can help you be “all you can be!”
A mentor can cut the learning curve in mastering a skill by quite a bit. He (or she) can use their own experiences to help you avoid costly, time-wasting mistakes and get up the ladder much faster than you could on your own. So, how do you find a mentor a.k.a. “The Wizard” to help you reach your goals?
Well, for starters, it helps if you know what to look for in one. Basically, a good mentor should be:
- Able to help you increase your ability to reach your goals
- Able to teach you a new skill
- A good listener and able to provide you with constructive criticism
- Hook you up with the people you need to know to get ahead; someone who can
- include you in activities that will give you access to these people
- Give you the lowdown on the politics and power in your organization or industry
- So to start, just ask yourself, “What do I need?”
Here is where you must really be honest with yourself and examine what skills you want, need to learn, or need to improve upon Once you do that, you should seek out the appropriate person to teach those skills. Here are some aspects of the search you should concern yourself with:
- Do you want to learn from someone similar to, or different from, yourself?
- Do you want someone from a similar background who came up the same way you
- Did, or does it matter if they came by a different road?
- Do you want to be mentored by someone you know, or do you want to find someone you’ve never met before?
- Finally, you need to really decide how much time you want to spend on the process
Remember, time is a commodity that once spent you will never get back! So choose wisely, Young Skywalker! Alright, you have brainstormed with yourself and decided what kind of mentor you want. Now, it’s time to find one.
Believe it or not, you can look for a mentor in your own department or another. And no, they do NOT have to be senior members of your firm. (A mentor can actually be older or younger, above you, or beside you in rank.) My recommendation? Find someone who retired from your field recently, to avoid presenting a conflict of interest within your department (or at a competing firm.)
The above article is an excerpt from Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel’s book, Reboot Your Career: 27 Ways to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace (If You Still Have a Job!) Peter Fogel is an Award Winning humorist who has appeared or worked on over 22 shows including, Married With Children and Comic Strip Live! He reinvented himself into an in demand Copywriter, Business Speaker, Infoprenuer, Marketing and Reinvention Strategist. Fogel is also the host of The Boomer Humor Radio Show. The #l self-indulgent help show on internet radio www.boomerhumorradio.com. As a strategist and speaker, he’s helped thousands of people reinvent themselves and find their true passion in life through his articles, books, and appearances on CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS.
To get an autographed copy of Reboot Your Career: 27 Ways to Reinvent Yourself in the Workplace (If You Still Have a Job!) PLUS over $200 worth of FREE Bonus Gifts, please visit www.rebootyourcareernow.com Other sites include www.publicspeaklikeapro.com, www.peterfogel.com, www.fogelscorporatecomedy.com,