Professionals with strong mentor relationships achieve a higher level of success and do it faster than their counterparts lacking these types of connections. A mentor can act as a trusted advisor, trainer, and guide to help you develop professional skills, improve soft skills, troubleshoot workplace difficulties, and consider career paths or opportunities. A mentor doesn’t have to be a C-Suite or even Senior level professional. They should be someone with expertise in an area you need to develop. For example, perhaps you have an MBA and excellent business acumen, but you struggle with emotional-intelligence and public speaking. An ideal mentor would excel in those areas. Sometimes finding a mentor happens naturally and other times you need to widen your circle to find the right person and fit.
Finding a mentor:
- Look within your organization
As you consider your skill set and areas you need to develop consider individuals in your organization adept in those areas. If there seems to be a large need for mentorship in your organization, consider pioneering a program to match mentors and mentees.
- Explore outside your organization
A mentor outside your organization can be especially helpful as they offer a view from outside your current employer and can help to broaden your professional network as well. You might meet this professional during your normal business activities or they might be a speaker or panel participant at an industry event.
- Speak to a recruiter in your industry
A recruiter specialized in your industry and/or functional area can guide you on your career path. If you work in the life sciences industry, you’ll want to find a life sciences recruiter to work with. Recruiters are experts in the professional and soft skills required by companies and for specific positions or even levels within organizations. They can also help you expand your network by connecting you with industry leaders.
Finding a mentor and building that relationship may seem daunting, but it is a rewarding experience for both parties. It is a critical step in your career development, so don’t skip it.
Written by Life Sciences Recruiter Heather Meadows