You need more to get ahead than just technical and interpersonal skills. A survey by Robert Half International shows it’s also essential to have someone who can help you along the way. More than half of executives polled said they have had a mentor who provided at least some of the following benefits:
- Guidance. More than anything, a mentor can offer you insight and advice about your career. For example, early on, Jack Welch was mentored by a GE executive who identified Welch’s promise and convinced him to remain with the organization after Welch had accepted a position elsewhere. Of course, Welch eventually rose to the top spot at GE, and the rest is history. Chances are your mentor has walked the path before and can help you plan your course.
- Introductions. We’re all familiar with the adage, It’s not what you know but who you know that counts. A mentor can ensure you know the right people by introducing you to his or her own professional contacts.
- Encouragement. Sometimes, the most important role a mentor can play is cheerleader. Having someone pat you on the back for a job well done and pick you up when times are tough can keep your drive and determination high.
No matter what stage you are at in your career, you’re never too far along to benefit from the assistance of a qualified mentor. Following is some advice for identifying the right person:
- Look inside your firm. Ask a respected member of your department to serve as your mentor. Let him or her know what type of time commitment will be involved (an hour or two a month is typically sufficient) and what you hope to learn. Your company may even have a formal mentoring program in place to help you locate an available partner.
- Contact local organizations. Call regional trade and professional organizations in your area to see if they have formal mentoring programs. Attend association meetings or trade shows in your field as well; they’re excellent places to meet potential advisers.
- Examine your network. There’s no rule that states you cannot have a pre-existing relationship with your mentor. Above all, identify someone you trust and respect who is willing to help you continue your professional development.
Source: Robert Half Accountemps workvine.com
Find mentors at CMA Credit Professionals Group Meetings, on the anscers Community Board, and through networking at CMA Events.