It’s nice to think we can go about it alone. Perhaps that is a possibility, but it will take an extremely long time to achieve the end goal. You don’t need to look far for an example. Any construction project, whether we are talking about the physical build or the design development that happens in an office doesn’t happen in isolation. If you think you can figure it all out on your own you’re only fooling yourself.
The process of leaning into the insight and experience of others is to fast-track your own development. I could spend ten years trying to figure out a process or I could access the people who have the knowledge I need and achieve my goal in half the time. What is remarkable however, is that the people who aren’t taking agency over their career are often the same individuals who are least likely to invest in assistance. Yet those who are invested will continue to do so to get the desired results.
I have always seen myself as the CEO of my career. There are a few select seats available which you can fill as mentors (board members) -people you can turn to for advice based on their area of expertise. These mentors do not have to be all career related. They will vary in their expertise and breadth of professionalism. I hope you strike gold and find the one mentor who will forever change your life, as my mentor did for me.
The advice and insight you are seeking should help you get to where you want to go.
This leads me onto the considerations which you need to be aware of when entering mentoring relationships. This is relevant to both mentoring that is free and paid services. At the start of my career, I didn’t have the evaluation criteria and parameters I do now when choosing mentors. However, I will only absorb advice or their consideration if I would switch places with them. If I wouldn’t, then why would I need their advice?
The advice and insight you are seeking should help you get to where you want to go. If you don’t want to go where they are or have been, then question if their advice is relevant to you. That’s why you have to carefully assess:
- What results has this mentor achieved in their own life?
- What expansion and transformation can we achieve via interacting/engaging with them?
- Will they bring out the best that is already within you, rather than what they think is best?
- Will engaging with them save you time as to where you’d like to go?
Untapped Growth and Development
A mentor will also lift the curtain on what you don’t know. There are aspects of your career where you know what you don’t know. Then there are other aspects which are critical to career construction that you don’t know have an influence on it. A mentor is able to show you the paths of least resistance (but only the great ones).
No-one is above mentoring, and if you’re thinking that you’ve done just fine without one, aren’t you at the least bit curious as to how much further you could go with a mentor?
A mentor is able to show you the paths of least resistance (but only the great ones).
There is nearly nothing more impactful that you can provide your career growth and development with than investing in mentoring. It can come in the form of a book, a podcast, a programme, a lifelong advisor. But it is up to the individual to make conscious steps towards full immersion in mentoring. Because those that achieve higher compensation, faster progression and more recognition certainly have.
Your Choice, Your Future
I believe in the power of mentoring like the air I breathe. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today in the time it took me to get here without mentoring.
What’s your choice?