Sometimes clients will ask me my number one tip for success. It’s a lofty question, and one that doesn’t really have a straight-forward, simply answer. But I do have something I recommend to anyone who is trying to start a business, move forward in their career, or find more balance and happiness in their current field:
Get a mentor.
It might sound old-school, but career mentorship programs are some of the best ways to increase your success and satisfaction. Having a career mentor has been shown to help with career advancement, confidence, bigger salaries, and even a better work-life balance (which we’re all striving for!)
Even I have had mentors help me get to where I am today. I personally had success with a business mentor, but I realized in my journey that there are many different types of mentors that are useful for different reasons. Whether you’re finding a one-on-one mentor or joining a mentorship program, there are certainly options if you’re looking to reap those benefits. Here are the three best career mentorship programs you can participate in.
- Those within a company
Companies are starting to realize the payoff mentorship has for their employees. All the reasons that having a mentor can benefit you — from better productivity to increased ambition — can also benefit your company. 70% of Fortune 500 companies use mentorship programs to improve their business, and other big companies are following suit. If you’re interested in getting a mentor, try going to your boss and asking if your company has any programs in place. You might be surprised to find out that they do! Some notable companies that currently have mentorship programs in place include General Electric and Fidelity Investments,
- Those you pay
If your workplace doesn’t offer mentorship programs, or you’re looking for mentorship to help you find a new career, there are absolutely other avenues for you to explore, and that includes finding a paid mentor to guide you.
These mentorship programs can be pricey (I was faced with a $10,000 charge from my first mentor), but trust me when I say it’s worth it. I’m all about self investment, and finding a mentor is one of the best things you can do to evolve your career and help you succeed. These mentors can help you with networking, working your communication skills, and fine-tuning the skills you need to improve in whatever area you’re focusing on.
- Those you don’t pay
If you find the price a little too much to handle for a paid mentor, don’t worry! There are absolutely mentors that can help you without charging a fee.
There are many reasons someone may be inclined to help you free of charge, but that doesn’t mean their advice or help is any less valuable than if you were paying them thousands of dollars. Any connection in the career world is important, and if you have a mentor willing to guide you and introduce you to people that can be instrumental in your success, you bet you should take it! And there’s value in it for them, too, whether it’s the positive feelings that come from watching you succeed, or being able to use you as a success story in the future.
No matter which route you choose with your mentorship, it’s important to remember that the key to a good mentor, and a successful relationship, is trust. Yes, you’re putting your faith in them to guide you in the right direction, but they also need to believe in you and trust that you have the drive to follow their advice and succeed.
Every time I help a client reach their career goals, I am reminded of the mentors that helped get me to the point where I’m able to help others. It was their guidance and trust in me that had helped me become a successful career coach, able to change other people’s lives the way my mentors changed mine. If you’re on the fence about getting a mentor, I can’t recommend it highly enough. You never know where it can lead you.