How Mentors Can Help During a Career Transition

In this article we discuss how having a mentor during career transition can make the process feel more manageable.

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Lots of people feel overwhelmed when they’re preparing for a career transition. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way. After all, you’re essentially starting over and taking a leap of faith. However, switching careers can be the best way to feel more fulfilled and earn more money in the long term.

Whether you’re changing careers because you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you’ve been laid off, or because you want a different lifestyle, a new challenge, or to earn more, having some help and support along the way can make all the difference. Having mentors who will help guide you during a career transition can make the process feel more manageable. Here’s how a mentor can help you navigate the ups and downs of changing careers.

Advice On Your Resume and Approach

It’s hard to break into a new industry. If you don’t know how to reach the right people or tailor your resume, you might have a hard time getting a job or even getting as far as an interview. A mentor who understands the industry you’re targeting inside and out will be able to give you specific advice on how to present yourself.

Confidence is important, but it’s only part of the puzzle. You must grab an employer’s attention with your written communication, ideally after you’ve been recommended or introduced. Your mentor should be able to help you make the right impression so you can impress potential employers with your skills and enthusiasm.

Giving Qualified Opinions About Your Opportunities

You might want any job to get your foot in the door of a new career path. And sometimes, that’s the right thing to do. But a mentor will be able to evaluate different opportunities that come up and give their opinion on which of them is likely to benefit you in your new career.

If you’re new to the field or industry, it can be hard to figure out which opportunities you should spend time on and which you should pass up. Your mentor will have the experience to vet your options and provide direction.

Helping You with Setbacks

When you’re going through a career transition, you’re going to experience setbacks. You’re likely to get many more “no’s” than “yes’” when you first start applying for jobs. This can be very discouraging and causes some people to give up and return to their original careers.

A mentor can encourage you after setbacks and help you figure out what went wrong. Your friends and family can tell you that you’re great and will find a job eventually, but a mentor can provide insights and helpful criticism in addition to encouragement.

Celebrating Your Wins

Just as they help you with setbacks, a mentor will share in your wins as well. It’s wonderful to celebrate with someone who truly understands the effort you’ve put into your career transition. Mentors love to see their mentees succeed!

Remember: Don’t Just Listen, Act

There’s nothing more frustrating for a mentor than to provide advice based on years of experience, only to have their mentee disregard it. What’s the point of having a mentor if you’re not going to take action?

It’s important to listen to what your mentor says and to take their advice seriously. But it’s also important to take the advice they provide and apply it. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time and your own.

Where to Find a Mentor

Mentors are generous people. They provide their time and expertise simply because they want to help others succeed. They might also be on the lookout for great new talent, but that doesn’t mean they’re out there looking for people to mentor all the time.

Networking is key to finding a mentor. This doesn’t have to mean attending in-person events—a lot of mentorships begin through virtual networking opportunities. However, it’s important to go into the networking process with the mindset of building strong connections and relationships, rather than just trying to see what you can get from people you meet.

Approaching networking this way is actually easy. Simply listen more than you talk, ask questions, and see where things go! Meeting people in the industry you hope to enter will provide great connections and mentorship opportunities.

Another great way to find a mentor is using a platform such as PushFar. We have over 75,000 members on our open network looking to find a mentor, be a mentor, or do both. The best part? It's completely free for all individuals.

Don’t Be Shy

Many people feel uncomfortable reaching out to their mentors when they need help. But remember, it’s a lot easier to respond to someone than to be proactive. Someone who is a working professional and also mentoring one or more people is probably very busy. If you need help, it’s important to ask!

That doesn’t mean that you should pester your mentor with every little thing. But it does mean that the responsibility is on you to reach out and to keep the communication going. Be respectful and appreciative, but don’t be shy. Always remember to say thank you!

And when you’ve climbed the ladder in your new career? Be sure to pass it on by becoming a mentor yourself.

To find out more about mentoring or find yourself a mentor, visit PushFar, the world's leading mentoring and career progression platform.

This article was guest written by Andrew Deen.
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