Any successful executive knows that the support of a good mentor is often essential to success. Talking to someone who has already walked the same road you plan to walk can help you in lots of different ways - not many people would dispute that.
However, at Upnotch, we've seen that there are still some blockers stopping people from actually engaging with a mentor.
A big one is that many - if not most - people still aren't sure when it's a good time to start talking to a mentor.
So we thought we'd identify 5 crucial signs that you might need one - right now.
1. You feel lost or uncertain about your career path
Are you still searching for your career path 10 years out of school? Do you feel unfulfilled or unsure about what you want to do? A mentor might be able to help you clarify your goals. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a certain career but you weren’t sure what you needed to do to break into that industry or perhaps you love your current company and industry but you have felt stuck in your position and you want to move up in the company.
2. You’re facing a major transition or a new challenge
Are you getting ready for that next promotion? Sometimes, all you need is a little push to get to the next level. Or maybe you’re starting a new role, breaking into a new industry or starting a new business. If you’re looking to break out of your current job and start your own business, the expert guidance of a mentor can give you the confidence you need to take the leap.
3. Your network is not big enough
Building a network is not always easy. It takes time and effort to build connections with others. A mentor can help you expand your network. Let's say you’re a first-time entrepreneur. If your network has a lot of people who aren’t business owners or entrepreneurs, you may find it difficult to share knowledge or build contacts. A mentor can offer to introduce you to their contacts which will help you to create business opportunities.
4. You feel like you're losing touch with the younger generation
Have you ever heard of reverse mentoring? Senior leaders often fail to connect to the concerns, needs, and desires of younger generations. That's when reverse mentoring comes to play. A junior person working with a more senior executive can provide a fresh perspective on the business or industry.
Reverse mentoring is also a great way to build awareness of the barriers faced by minorities in the workplace. It helps cultivate a culture of understanding among people who come from diverse backgrounds.
Another interesting fact is that today and for the first time in history, we have 5 different generations in the workplace with millennials by far the largest generation in the mix. They have been at the center of the evolution of the workplace in recent years and will dictate the world to come. That means that today more than ever, reverse mentoring is crucial.
5. You're feeling the need for outside perspective and feedback
You realize that you need an outside opinion on your work, an opinion your friends or colleagues can’t give you. A fresh pair of eyes. Drawing on their past experiences, a mentor can provide unbiased opinions that they believe fit your circumstance best and they can help you overcome challenges by sharing new perspectives to develop creative or effective solutions.
A good mentor inspires you, guides you, connects you, opens your mind, and - most importantly - provides a safe space to learn, experiment, and ask questions. At Upnotch we think that everyone needs a mentor, no matter where they are in life. No matter how old you are or how successful you are - there’s always room for growth and improvement.
But if any of those 5 signs resonate with you - you specifically need a mentor right now!