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The importance of having a business mentor has often been undermined by many of us. In the modern day business environment where competition has taken a front seat, it becomes all the more necessary to find yourself a suitable mentor who will advice you and guide you through the maze of corporate warfare.

Who is a Mentor?

Sometimes, we tend to confuse business mentors with the allies in our network. However, the major difference between the two is that a mentor has an enduring dedication towards and inherent investment in our current and potential endeavors. Your mentor is one whom you want to be and look up to. You want to reach their professional standing. They have the reputation and association with eminent people to direct you towards the pinnacle of the corporate ladder.

A mentor plays an important role in your success by sharing with you the tales of their struggles and experiences, helping you steer through the challenges and keeping you motivated. People usually prefer to have experienced business executives holding senior positions in business organizations as their mentors.

Analyzing Your Needs

The first step towards searching for a mentor is to understand your own expectations, goals and weaknesses. A thorough self-analysis will help you realize what you need from a mentoring relationship. Only then you can find the right mentor whose expertise will coincide with your purpose of establishing the mentoring relationship.

Searching for a Mentor

Coming across one’s mentor often happens spontaneously and unexpectedly. Nevertheless, you can make it happen actively as well. Looking for the right mentor needs commitment and engagement. You can ask yourself a few questions such as –

  • Am I aligning myself with the right people?

  • Do I have the right set of connections?

  • Are the people in my network adding value to my calling?

  • How did my associates come across their mentors?

  • What my previous experiences were like when I had a superior who contributed towards my progress and helped me navigate through the predicaments?

If you are not satisfied with the answers to the above questions, it’s time that you step out and meet new people to expand your network. You can do so by participating in conventions held by local businesses. Try connecting with the alumni of your university and acquiring the right contacts from them would also be an effective method in getting in touch with a future mentor. Try to think how you could be of assistance to them. This will help you gain their attention. Do not forget to express your respect and appreciation for their time.

What Does a Mentor Do?

The important question still remains to be discussed. What would your mentor do to help you succeed? A mentoring relationship yields its benefits overtime. It involves a careful analysis on the mentee’s strengths and weaknesses and identifying their competencies. The mentor helps their mentee sharpen their existing skills and acquire new ones through an instructive approach, providing opportunities for hands-on experience or training.

Like we mentioned earlier, a mentor is usually a highly experienced person. They know the whole lot about workplace politics and other general issues, and would educate you on how to tactfully steer clear from the same. They would also provide their valuable insight on developing good relations with the important people in your organization who play a crucial role in your career advancement. Your mentor is more like a coach to you, who also inspires you to deliver the best performance at work.

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