Successful business leaders tend to have one thing in common – they have a mentor who has invested time and training in them to help them in their career. Mentors also play a major role in a career at Summit Retail Solutions.
Benefits of having a business mentor
Mentors provide ideas, advisement, and support at critical points in your career. You may have a single mentor or you may gradually build a network of mentors who help you at different points of your career. These mentors provide a sounding board when you face critical career decisions such as taking a new position, changing companies or striking out on your own. Their guidance can help you look at the big picture, move beyond the evaluation phase and take action.
How to identify a good mentor
Here are some ways to find the right mentor:
Seek alignment. A good mentor is someone whose values and general career path match yours. If you desire a leadership position, you should seek out a mentor who is at the same level or higher than you aspire to be.
Don’t be afraid of failure. While it’s important to find a mentor whose success you wish to replicate, don’t be afraid of their failures. Sometimes their failures have been equally important in shaping their careers and helping them identify their own path to success. Ask your mentor about the times they faced adversity or unexpected setbacks and how they dealt with them. This can be as helpful as learning about their successful decisions.
Think outside the box. Finding mentors in the same line of business or career position you aspire to is essential. However, just because a mentor is in a different industry or has a completely different role than you doesn’t mean they can’t offer essential advice. Sometimes, this outside knowledge will help you look at situations and career decisions differently and with a fresh perspective.
How to find a mentor
Now that you know the characteristics of a great mentor, it’s time to find a mentor. Here are a few ways you can find a mentor:
Make a list. Consider the characteristics you’re looking for in a mentor. Where are they at in their career? What industry are they in? How available are they?
Identify matches. You can meet mentors in person at networking events and also online through social media and career sites like LinkedIn. Before an event, consider who’s there and who you’d like to meet. Online, look for shared connections who could potentially introduce you (or who you could name drop when introducing yourself!).
Introduce yourself. Whether it’s by email or a personal introduction, it’s up to you to make the first move. Approach people at networking events, hand out business cards and invite people you admire out to coffee. After any introduction or meeting, be sure to thank the person for their time and advice.
Find a mentor at Summit Retail Solutions
One of the pillars of success at Summit Retail Solutions is our community of leaders. The leaders throughout our organization provide mentorship to new team members. We encourage our team to seek out mentors and create relationships that will foster their career growth. This is just one of the training opportunities and benefits we offer our team members.