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What Finding a Mentor Early Can Do For Your Career

“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.

By now we've all heard that no matter what you want to achieve in your life, finding someone to guide you towards that goal with will help accelerate this process. Having a mentor by your side can immensely help whether you want to secure an internship, land a full-time job, or even take the leap to start a business of your own.  Take the time to seek out someone that inspires you.  Here are the reasons why you should go out and seek a mentor today. 

1.) You will learn from someone with experience.  The hardest part of accomplishing anything is getting started.  We all have our dreams and goals, but until we act and move towards accomplishing what standards you’ve set for yourself, they will only remain just a dream or a goal.  When you speak with a mentor, he or she will be there to help you on your path to success.  They’ve done it before, they have gone through the tough terrain to get to the top of whatever industry they work from - and they have had their own mentors too.  Experience is a tool that cannot be purchased, you can only gain experience with time.  Experience can only be earned or shared with other people around you.  When you find a great mentor, they should be willing to share their experience with you to help you achieve your goal in the best possible way.

2.) Diversify your mentorship.  Don’t just have one mentor.  Find that person from the top echelon of your industry and go after them.  Send them an email or find some way to contact them and let him or her know that you’re looking for some mentorship.  The Daily Muse originally wrote an article about the three career mentors that everyone should have.  You can read the full article by clicking the hyperlink, but it mentions that you should seek for multiple mentors.  Look for the mentors where you see yourself in their position within a year, in five years, and even look for one as a career expert.  When you surround yourself with others with this positive mindset, eventually success will start to trickle through to you.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

3.) Find a mentor that’s not afraid to criticize.  Elena Bajic, a contributor for Forbes, wrote a piece similar to this one on how a mentor can help your career.  One key to success Elena points out in the article I find to be very true, and that is to have someone around to criticize you.  She says, “It’s often easy to see others’ shortcomings and weaknesses. But, it’s not so easy to identify your shortcomings. And in fact, sometimes the very thing you criticize in others is something you manifest yourself. You are just “blind” to it. Mentorship is like holding up a mirror to your operating style and clearly seeing your reflection. Mentors aren’t there to validate your self-perceptions; their purpose is to be relentlessly honest and reflect what they observe back to you in a constructive manner.”  Once you find someone who can look outside of your own perception and constructively criticize in an objective manner, you’ll start to grow immensely as an individual.

Clayton Wert is a Career Coach and Internship Advisor at Dream Careers, the leading internship program for college students. Clayton advises college students on how to land internships at the best companies in Los Angeles.