Did you have someone you looked up to in high school? Someone who showed you the ropes; taught you the ins and outs of the social hierarchies, which classes to take, and the spots to hang out. They geared you up for what to expect, and led you in the right direction.
In college, I’m sure you had a similar relationship with someone. It could have been an acquaintance from your hometown, a friend of a friend, or a “big brother” or “big sister” in a sorority or fraternity. Whoever this person was, they were a vital part of this transition into your next chapter.
I’m sure you are now looking back and identifying these people and realizing how important they were to you at that time. Do you still have someone in your life like this now? You should! These people are just as important to guide you toward your next step down your career path. These people are called our mentors.
Who should your mentor be?
1) Someone you Trust
You want to be confiding in someone you can be honest with. Someone you can tell your fears and your dreams to who you aren’t worried about judging you.
2) Someone you Value
Obviously we want to mirror the ideals and doings of someone we value, and look up to. This person will be your mentor because in some ways, you want to be like them.
3) Someone who has succeeded.
This person doesn’t need to be the president of a company, or someone has reached their ultimate career goal. But they should be someone who you see as successful at their current place in life.
So find a mentor who you trust, value, and who you see as successful. Build and maintain this relationship. Use them for career advice. They’ve been there before, and they can empathize with your struggles. Being an early career candidate is tough, your mentors are there to help!