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Finding Job Success Through a Mentor

Posted August 9, 2013 by Kim Dahlgren in Networking Buzz

Finding a mentor isn’t necessarily something you “officially” do. Mentorship is something that can grow organically with anyone. Usually these people reveal themselves to us in the form of friends or colleagues, or those who have succeeded in something we want to achieve. I have attempted to acquire mentors both naturally and by asking them if they would be willing to help me out.

Finding a mentor can be as easy as seeking out someone you admire, and simply requesting she donate a few hours of her time each month to check in with you and provide you feedback and advice. You can spend that time asking her questions like, What’s next? Or provide her with an update on your current job search.

There are a three reasons why finding a mentor is crucial to your job success.

1. They’ve been there. As mentioned, a mentor is usually someone who has already achieved a goal you’re striving for. Instead of going it alone, having a mentor gives you the benefit of seeing the steps someone else took — the path that led her to success. Your path may unfold entirely different but your mentor can still provide an excellent critique of how you’re doing thus far.

2. They know people. As the saying goes, It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This has been critical in my own success both professionally and personally. Whether it’s an introduction to a major player in your industry, or a human resource contact for the job you dreamed of since kindergarten, mentors have been in the business longer than we have and they can help us meet the right people.

3. They can help you get work. This is huge because ultimately this is what we all need: a job. Mentors can be especially helpful if the field you’re interested in is difficult to crack. A mentor can help you break in whether through their personal industry connections or a friend. (see #2). This helps the dreaded ‘you need a job to get experience’ but ‘you can’t get a job without experience’ scenario.

Reach out and request a phone conversation or even a meeting if you already have a mentor in mind,. If not, do some research in your field and cold call or email your prospective mentor (s) to request help. I promise. Worthy volunteers will step forward. Strive to return their help and send a really nice thank you note.

Good luck!

You can read more from Kim at her website, http://kimdahlgren.com

About the Author

Kim Dahlgren

Kim is a current undergrad student, as well as an Entertainment Reporter in the Los Angeles area. Founder of CakeandClass.Com.