| December 2023 |

Mentorship and Professional Development: Leveraging Guidance for Career Success

Mentorship and Professional Development - Empowered Decision

How to set yourself up for Success with a Mentor.

WRITTEN BY: Laura Biggs

In the pursuit of career success, mentorship and professional development play a crucial role. Having a mentor can provide invaluable guidance, support and insights that can accelerate your growth and help you navigate the challenges of your chosen field. Additionally, actively seeking out professional development opportunities allows you to enhance your skills, broaden your knowledge and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving work environment. In this blog, we will explore the power of mentorship and professional development and how you can leverage them to achieve your career goals.

  1. Understanding the Role of a Mentor: “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you” (Bob Proctor). Identifying the right mentor who aligns with your goals and values is important as is building a strong mentor-mentee relationship based on trust and open communication.
  2. Finding a Mentor: Ask if your organisation, industry body or association offers a mentoring program. Alternatively attend networking events, conferences, and industry specific gatherings or utilise online platforms with mentorship programs or a career coach to connect you with potential mentors. Remember it only works if the mentor is interested so be tactful in asking, possibly saying you are looking for a mentor for your career and if they know of anyone suitable. This allows them to express interest rather than being asked directly. Remember more senior people tend to at a point where they want to give back so there may be more interest than you anticipate.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”
— Denzel Washington

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby

  1. Establish Expectations: Clearly define goals and expectations from the mentorship relationships, taking care to clarify them with your Mentor. Communicate your aspirations, challenges and areas of growth and collaborate to create a roadmap for your professional development.
  2. Learn from your Mentor: Actively listen to your mentor’s advice, experiences, and insights. Seek feedback on your work (taking care with confidentiality if they are external to the company you work at), projects and career decisions.
  3. Taking Initiative: Be proactive in seeking guidance and support from your mentor. Set goals and regularly update them on your progress. If internal and they have influence request opportunities for new experiences, challenges, and learning opportunities.
  4. Embrace Professional Development and Lifelong Learning: Identify your skill gaps and areas for improvement. Cultivate a growth mindset, seek new challenges, and embrace failure as a learning opportunity.
  5. Paying It Forward: as you grow your career consider becoming a mentor to others. Share your knowledge, experiences and insights with others or contribute to your professional community through volunteering.

For more tips visit our website www.empowered-decision.com.au or get in touch with us by emailing connect@edecision.com.au