Do you need a career mentor?

Something that often comes up in any person’s career is wondering what’s next. Whether we’re legitimately content with our current position or desperately searching for something else, we all struggle with the constant pressure in the back of our heads wondering, “Is there something more I could be doing? Am I holding myself back in any way?”

The problem is that as humans, we are all shortsighted when it comes to the bigger picture – whether we want to acknowledge it or not. This is why s many people turn to psychologists, life coaches, and personal trainers – it’s necessary to gain the perspectives of others in order to succeed.

If we’re more readily accepting of the input of professionals in other areas of our lives, why are we not seeking out career mentors?

We’ve pulled together some tips that can help you in your search of a career mentor that will help you reach your goals.

  • Try to outline what you’re looking for in a career
    We find it’s best to start by doing a bit of soul-searching for yourself. It’s important to be aware of your personal goals and desires before asking someone to help you progress – it’s hard to help guide someone who is completely aimless.

    Try to take note of what you like and dislike about your current position – even if you feel you completely hate it. Pinpointing the things you do like about your job can be more insightful than you may realize at first. Use this list alongside your personal interests to see if you would still like to work in the same field or if you think you would be better off searching for something else.

  • Make a list of potential candidates
    You may have a particular person in mind already, but it is a good idea to create a longer list as a backup plan. Odds are that the first person on your list wants to help you, but there’s a chance that they’re too busy between their work and personal lives to give your mentorship the attention you need. It is also a good idea to consider someone outside of your current organization if possible – your current employer likely has reasons to try and keep you around even if you feel you’re not fulfilling your full potential, so it’s best to look for someone who has an unbiased position.
  • Remember, it’s possible to ask someone you don’t know well
    This may sound incredibly awkward at first, but rest assured that people do this all the time – it can be somewhat of a necessity that’s fairly common in the business world, especially if you’re looking towards moving into a new field. Maybe you’ve met them through some networking function or have a friend that works with them that can introduce you and put in a good word, but you don’t have to know them well and many will be happy to help if they see potential in you.

    Do your best to learn as much about the person as you can beforehand – common interests are always the best way to bridge the gap. Always remember that they are a person as well and forming a relationship with them is just as important as gaining sound advice.

Once you have an idea of the steps you would like to take with your career, we can help make the job search easier. RJ Byrd has over 20 years of experience matching candidates and employers in the Dallas area to great success. Feel free to fill out our Job Questionnaire and we’ll get to work finding the best fit for you!

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