20 Jul

Your Guide for A Successful Career Journey

Have you ever felt frustrated and alone when trying to move your career upwards? It can feel like trudging through quick sand, slow and impossible.  Every high-level business person knows that professionals need a great mentor to be their guide and help them navigate the corporate career journey. 

During my career with Macy's Inc, I had several great mentors at different stages of my career who were great teachers. They all shared with me honest, constructive feedback on my performance and professional image, how to navigate the political aspects of the organization and they were my cheerleaders, cheering and supporting me when I got the next big promotion. To this day, this fabulous team of mentors are the one's I remember when I think back on the many people and resources that contributed to my high-level success.

Today about 70% of Fortune 500 firms have formal mentoring programs. If you are a professional, you definitely need to have a sphere of influence and a mentor on your professional resource team. It's always great to work with someone from within your organization, but if that isn't possible look for someone you respect outside the organization but who has experience being a top leader within the same type of industry. 

Here are a few benefits of finding the right mentor who you trust as you mentor partner to clear the path for greater career progression: 

Benefits of Working With A Mentor

  • You build a two-way partnership that enhances the self-confidence, sharing of ideas, successes and broader perspectives for both individuals. 
  • You cultivate a trusted confidant who you trust implicitly to provide you with honest, constructive feedback about your professional image. 
  • It is also a great experience for the mentor to learn some valuable insights into managing the younger generation from the mentee who oftentimes is of a younger generation.

Here are five insider secrets to ensure you have a successful relationship:

  1. Right from the beginning be sure to set clear expectations for both parties. It's always good to be set boundaries since this is an unpaid position. This way everyone can live it to their word. 
  2. View the time you spend together as sacred and a priority. Be sure to live up to your commitments and meeting times. 
  3. Create an open relationship whereby you ask for developmental feedback and review your goals and expectations to move to the next level. 
  4. Respect your mentor as a trusted advisor and professional resource. 
  5. Observe, listen and ask questions to learn from a master different work styles and interpersonal skills. 

I hope that if you don't have a mentor on your success team supporting and cheering you along your journey, you will explore adding a mentor to your resource team. This type of  professional development will enhance improving any developmental challenges you may have and assist you in achieving the job of your dreams.  

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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