By: Janette Artea
Mentors are the jolt of caffeine our careers need. They provide the ultimate guidance as you navigate the waters of your first job, from nailing the first day look, to email best practices, and conquering to-do lists. Great mentors empower and encourage the next generation of girl bosses. Many women have attributed their success to having a mentor at some point in their career. Choosing the right one will help you on your path to success.
Here are three critical traits to look for when choosing a mentor.
We’re not talking about years of experience here. It’s important to find someone whose knowledge you can trust as you conquer career milestones. A lengthy resume doesn’t help your mentor decide what advice to give when you’re dealing with your first difficult boss. Someone who’s been through similar experiences and overcame them will push you to learn, put into practice and ultimately conquer each career level.
You don’t want trust issues when it comes to your mentor. This is a person you should feel comfortable going to for any matter that pops up – good or bad. No one wants a frenemy in a mentor position. It’s what nightmares are made of! Not only do you want to be sure this is someone who genuinely wants what’s best for you and is willing to take time to prep you for it all, but you want someone who isn’t afraid to say no. To agree with you on everything and say yes to all your ideas is ultimately a disservice to you.
At the end of the day, a mentor can provide feedback on everything from last night’s episode of The Bachelor to how you could’ve handled work drama a bit better. Most importantly, when seeking the ying to your yang in the world of mentorship, always look to the person that will motivate you and push you outside your comfort zone. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t master your career overnight. However, there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into accomplishing both things. A good mentor will know when to push you, and you might hate it initially… but that’s the point! Growth happens when you’re least comfortable, and a great mentor will know just how far to push to make that happen.
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