There is a moment in everyone’s life when they realize just how much the people who raised them actually knew about life. These voices of reason and warning, caution and optimism play an important part in how we navigate adulthood. It stands to reason that having a person we can emulate, who can teach and train us as we progress through our careers is just as important. But are there really benefits to partnering with someone more experienced?
Their network becomes your network.
Even in today’s digital age, who you know still matters. Opportunities to progress will almost always present themselves first to people in the immediate circle of key decision-makers. When you are mentored by someone who has multiple relationships in your chosen field, their network becomes your network, making you privy to new opportunities you would otherwise miss.
It’s easier to walk in someone else’s footsteps.
If you have ever been snowshoeing, you’ll know that the hardest place to walk is at the beginning of the pack, through fresh snow. As the snow packs down with each subsequent snowshoer, it becomes easier to traverse the terrain. The same goes for new areas of a field, particularly those where women have been noticeably absent. When you align yourself with a trailblazing mentor, you have an opportunity to walk in their footsteps through a path that has already been forged.
There is power in empathy.
Brene Brown describes empathy as a way of connecting with one another. Rather than observing difficulty from afar, empathy allows a us to sit with a person in a common experience. During difficult times in your career, no one will empathize better than a mentor who has experienced what you are experiencing.
Whether you are new to your field, or looking for a way to reach the next step, a great mentor can make all of the difference.