Want to advance or learn more about a career? Consider a mentor.
Looking for a job can be challenging, but there are times when the greater challenge is the uncertainty as to what kind of job we are seeking. Have you ever wondered about changing careers and wish you had a way to learn more about another line of work? Or if you are still in school or preparing to enter the workforce, have you ever wanted to get an inside look at an industry before committing to a particular major or job? Many of us are familiar with the concept of internships, but there is another avenue of exploration and that is ‘mentoring’.
A mentor is an experienced individual who shares knowledge and provides guidance to another person. In a mentor and ‘mentee’ relationship, the mentors are role models who provide valuable insight and advice. The goal is to help the mentees to succeed by gaining a better understanding of the field, improving skills and ultimately advancing their careers.
One can find a mentor within a company or through a more formal mentor project. There are many benefits to having a mentor some of which are highlighted below:
- Learn about careers or a specific job – when speaking directly with an individual who is in a particular field, you can gain a lot of insight beyond what learned in textbooks or in the classroom. A mentor can share day to day specifics of a job and answer your questions.
- Develop your skills – a mentor can help you to identify the skills and knowledge that you may need to develop and they can provide advice on how to succeed in your endeavors.
- Get an insider’s look – you may have the opportunity to spend a day or more at a particular company and see how it feels and learn if it is a good fit for you.
- Gain self-confidence – the more you know about yourself and the areas of your interest, the more confident you will be.
- Develop your network – a mentor can help you to expand your personal contacts which will be helpful in your job search.
If you are a person with a disability, you may be interested participating in Disability Mentoring Day which is held annually in October. This event is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. The recruitment period for this event just started so you may want to fill out an application. It is open to job seekers in college, high school, or someone just looking for work.
Everyone can learn more about mentoring in this article from Mind Tools, entitled “Mentoring: a Mutually Beneficial Partnership.”
CUNY LEADS (City University of New York Linking Employment, Academics and Disability Services) is a program of CUNY created to provide students with disabilities the skills to make realistic academic and career choices that will result in successful careers. CUNY LEADS will share job search insight on this blog on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
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The views, opinions, or expressions provided by CUNY LEADS do not necessarily represent the views, opinions, or expressions of the City of New York and/or the New York City Department of Small Business Services.