Feeling left in the dark when it comes to your career can be an overwhelming and anxiety-producing burden. We all need a little light and guidance in life. That’s why every Gen Z needs a mentor, especially when they’re just starting out. Here are just a few of the benefits of having a mentor:
1. It’s someone to turn to when you’re puzzled
In a career jam and not sure how to get out of it? A professional mentor is your best option for real, honest advice. They know what it’s like to be in a career slump and have both their own experience and their colleagues’ experiences to draw on. Though they might not have a solution that can miraculously make everything better, they’ll likely have solid, unbiased advice on how to best proceed.
2. You can learn from their mistakes
So, nobody’s perfect and an important mark of character is how we rebound and learn from what we do wrong. That being said, if you have a mentor, there are certain mistakes you may not have to make. A good mentor will be honest about their pitfalls and shortcomings and relay information on what they learned from these mishaps.
3. They have inside knowledge of your field
Each industry is different, which is why it’s important to have a mentor working within your career field. Although there are certain universals in the professional world, a mentor can tell you insider information, like what experience to emphasize most in an upcoming job interview or which firm may be hiring soon. That said, make sure that you don’t waste their time and try to only ask the most important questions. If they’re good at their job, they probably don’t have a whole lot of extra time.
4. They’ve been there, done that
Knowing someone who has been around the block a few times in your industry can help you not sweat the small stuff. There are problems in our work life we should actually be worried about. That said, there’s other stuff that a more experienced professional can toss aside, because they’ve spent time worrying about the wrong things and have a much more balanced perspective than an industry newcomer.
All of us need positive feedback from time to time. Unfortunately, you don’t always get that from a job – especially when just starting out. A mentor can help you identify both your strengths and weaknesses while really building your confidence on what you’re good at. A little praise from a mentor can go a long way in boosting your ego and getting past workplace insecurities.
6. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
Although you definitely don’t want to over rely on your mentor for contacts in your career field, they can be an incredible asset when it comes to professional networking. Just remember to ask for contacts sparingly and with plenty of respect – they’ve built up their own network after years of hard work, so make sure you appreciate any information or connections that come your way.
Now that you know all of the benefits of having a mentor, learn more about how to find an international mentor during your internship abroad.