By Carol Lindsey
If you are just starting out in your communications career, you may want to find a mentor for guidance. Once you gain experience in your field, it will feel great to return the favour and be a mentor to a new professional!
Why should you seek out a mentor?
As a new communications professional, having a mentor can be key to learning more about your chosen career. This is because mentors offer new perspectives and have valuable first-hand experience about what it’s like to work and succeed in communications. Your mentor can help you learn things about your chosen field, or give you good advice that you would otherwise have had to learn the hard way. Also, a mentor-mentee relationship can increase your chances of career advancement because it can open new doors.
Why should you become a mentor?
Becoming a mentor is a great way to give back to the field you enjoy so much while also helping you develop new and different skills that you may not gain in your workplace. For example, your mentee may inspire you with creative ideas or introduce you to technology that wasn’t around when you were in college or university (anyone remember using Quark for design!?). Mentorship is about networking too. It’s been found that mentors and mentees are both statistically more likely to get raises and promotions at work.
Finding a mentor and becoming one
Mentor and mentee relationships are usually informal. If you’re looking to start one, the best place to start is at your workplace or within your existing network. Think about people you already have a natural connection with or admiration for. LinkedIn is also a great way to find a good ‘match’. Young and new professionals often view the profiles of more senior professionals in their field who are in roles they would like to one day be in themselves. So check your LinkedIn profile to see who’s been viewing your profile recently! If you’re looking for a mentor, remember that it isn’t uncommon to approach someone via social media or an email address that’s listed on their company website. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them how they got to where they are!