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career mentorOnce you decide on a particular career direction, the next thing you will want to do is to begin developing a strategy for making it happen. So you begin to consider any education and training you may need to achieve your career objective, along with conducting research on the industry or profession you will be pursuing, right? But what if you did not have to do this type of leg work? What if the path you are trying to forge has already been traveled? This is where a good career mentor comes in. Finding and engaging a professional who has achieved a level of success in the arena you are seeking can be one of the most important tools in your career arsenal. Here are just a few things that a good career mentor can do for you.

Career Mentors Help Eliminate Unnecessary Effort

As we all know, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. When pursuing your chosen profession, there can be dozens of ways to get to the place that you want in your career. But wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the pitfalls, mistakes, and time wasters that delay your progress? Or even worse, take you completely off the path? A career mentor who has traveled the road to get to where you are trying to can provide you with insight as where to focus your efforts. Why take a course that you don’t have to? Or take a job that leads you to a dead end? If you were looking for directions to someone’s home, wouldn’t you want them to tell you where the potholes, dead ends, closed street, and heavily trafficked areas where? A mentor can turn you on to resources that perhaps they wish they accessed when they were coming up.

Cultivate a Relationship That Leads To A Fertile Professional Network

If you have just graduated from college, there is a chance that the only people you know attend beer bashes and toga parties. As enjoyable as that may be, these don’t usually do a lot for your career advancement. When you secure a good career mentor, you are also on the verge of accessing a pipeline of like-minded professionals who can lend a helping hand when it comes to securing employment or other opportunities. A good career mentor for you will be someone who is well established within the profession. With years of experience, they will likely have built an extensive network of others just like themselves who are a “speed dial button press” away. When you prove yourself worthy, there is an excellent chance that your mentor will open up their contact list to you. (Now, you must be sure to be on your game before most will do this for you. When they introduce you their reputations are also on the line. But if you are serious about your career, things will eventually fall into place.)

Career Mentors Can Show You the Ugly Side You Many Not Have Seen

Have you ever seen a movie trailer so exciting that you could not wait to buy your ticket and see it, only to find that the movie have numerous holes and that the only exciting parts were the trailers you already saw? This can sometimes be the case when it comes to pursuing a career. All of the website and periodicals you’ve accessed can show you all the great aspects of the career. But what about the things that only someone in the profession would know? With any profession, there may be some aspects of it that just will not work for you, but the research you conduct may not reveal it. A career mentor that has been there for 10 to 20 years is liable to have run across every scenario and be able to point out those things that no amount of research will reveal.

Too many people are fond love the concept of wanting to learn from their mistakes. But be smart people know that the best way to do it is to learn from someone else’s. Committing to a career path can take time and resources that you may not ever be able to repeat. Traveling the road alone leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of mistakes. As you can see, a good career mentor can help you to avoid many of these, while potentially providing a pipeline of contacts to utilize in the future. Along with a great resume and excellent interviewing skills, the career mentor is a must for your tool box.

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