How to Find a Career Mentor


There are many benefits associated with having a career mentor. A mentor is someone with more experience in their career than you, meaning that they can help you navigate through the politics, the difficulties and the ups and downs of the job. He or she can help you determine what your career goals are, and how you can reach them; help to develop your communication skills; engender more responsibility; and help you get ahead quicker. These all sound pretty good! So how do you go about finding someone to be your career mentor?

The first step is to determine what your short term career goals are. Do you want to improve your skills and knowledge, or do you want to get promoted? Knowing what your goals are will help you to clarify what you want to get out of a mentoring relationship. Do you want your mentor to help you advance in your career or do you want him or her to be a sounding board for your ideas?

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Top Reasons not to take the First Job after Graduation

Close up of a graduation cap and a certificate with a ribbon

I know that the economy is currently unstable and that recent graduates are stuck in a never-ending battle with a failing job market and other promising grads. I understand that you have high interest student loans and that living in your parents’ spare bedroom is not an ideal situation. No doubt I will be criticized for saying this, but do not take the first full time, paying job that comes along after you graduate.

After several months of unemployment, you may be tempted to take that full time job as a secretary, despite the fact that you actually went to school to be a designer. You will more than likely tell yourself that the job in sales can work for you, even if you have a writing degree. But don’t settle. Before I make my plea in defense of my argument, I would like to make it clear that I’m not saying you shouldn’t work part time to pay your bills. However, I’m also not saying you should snub something out of the running that doesn’t suit your ideal career. I understand that not everyone’s situation allows them to wait before finding a full time job, it just isn’t feasible. However if you’ll be able to wait, not taking the first job that comes your way could be the best career choice for your future.

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