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Finding your feet as you enter the working world can be tough, which is why having the help of someone who has already experienced the ups and downs of climbing the career ladder can really make a difference. Mentorship serves as one of the most important ways of building a successful career, but before you rush out to ask the next person you see to be your mentor, remember that there are some important tips you should bear in mind:

Typically, finding the right mentor comes about through existing relationships with people that you work with and interact with frequently. The key when you start your training contract is to look for opportunities to network with your new colleagues and managers and start building relationships that may potentially lead to a mentorship. Generally, people will only choose to fill a mentorship role if they have evidence of your ability to succeed and believe in your potential. Search for ways that you can stand out by putting in extra work and proving your eagerness to learn. Your attitude will have a direct bearing on your success, so remember to be positive – no one will want to mentor a person who only sees the downside.

 

Don’t only think of seniors or managers as possible mentors. Obviously, you need someone with experience to guide and support you, but people these days are achieving great things at early ages so your mentor could very well turn out to be someone who started their training contract only a few years ahead of you, but is showing their mettle and soaring their way up the ladder. Don’t forget friends and acquaintances from your varsity or school days either. Keep in touch with people where you can – social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make this easier than ever before. Mentors don’t generally come with a flashing neon sign announcing their arrival, so look to build relationships naturally.

 

Mentorship is all about give and take. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s only about your own growth and success: mentors are busy people willing to invest their time and knowledge in helping you, so it’s only fair that they get something out of the relationship too. Illustrating that you are learning and growing by acting on their advice and wisdom is one way of doing this. Many mentors take on the role because they want to see others succeed as they have and realise that people can learn from the knowledge they have gained along the way. Show some appreciation by acting on their advice, and you will reap the rewards in terms of your own career growth and in paying your mentor back for the time and knowledge they have passed on to you.

Epic Discussion

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