I’ve long held the belief that at any given stage you should have a mentor in some way shape or form in your life. In your younger years this may be a parent or teacher, and as you mature into adulthood a friend or work colleague. We all need guidance from time to time and having someone to turn to for advice, even on trivial matters, can help you deal with challenging situations better than you would have otherwise.
Generally, a mentor will be older than you as they have gained invaluable life experience that cannot be bought. They will have invariably lived through difficult situations and will be in a prime position to offer advice. In the workplace you may feel yourself gravitating towards a particular hiring manager or peer as they will have steered you correctly in the past. A bridge of trust, and hopefully mutual respect, will have been built over a period of time which is then beneficial for all parties concerned, and the business at large.
I’ve had a number of mentors over my working life, tracking all the way back to my days in industrial roofing. This has helped give me a really good grounding in my current role through understanding the practices and nuances of technical and skilled engineering roles, so high five to that mentor.
It is important to remember that while a mentor is there to guide you, you still need to make your own decisions and face up to your own mistakes. You need to carve out your own path. At the end of the day Mr Miyagi showed Daniel son how to do the crane technique, but he wasn’t the one who executed it.
Technical & Engineering Consultant