How to find your Yoda, and why a mentor is so important

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My Career

How to find your Yoda, and why a mentor is so important

What do Yoda, Uncle Ben, Obi-Wan Kanobi, Dumbledore and Mr Miyagi have in common? Each of these characters are legendary mentors that have had a long and tumultuous career helping to shape the destiny of their honoured mentee.

Mentorship has the potential of being a huge part of your overall professional success, both in the beginning phases of your career and later in your professional life.

A mentorship can provide you with a solid baseline of career support, keep you grounded, and help you remain self-aware throughout your entire career journey. It’s a relationship that you should seriously consider.

As you think about finding the Jedi Master to your Padawan, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your mentor-mentee relationship is both valuable and sustainable.

Why do we need a mentor?

A mentor is there to guide you through most situations that you could face in your professional career, such as challenging workdays, problems with coworkers and potential career-growth opportunities that are presented to you. Your mentor can help you improve on your soft skills, offer ideas around strategy and most importantly, provide advice around career progression and promotion. Your Jedi Master is there to fill those gaps that are missing from your career and professional development growth.

The role of a mentor

A strong mentor is three things: a trusted confidant, an influential and respected member of society, and a person who will support you in any way. The ideal mentor should be willing to invest their time and support in your professional development and have a strong desire to help you succeed.

‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ Uncle Ben

Where to find your mentor

Your mentor should be a person in your same profession, or someone who is closely linked to what it is you do. Your mentor should understand where you are coming from, and where you want to go. It is important to find a mentor who you can relate to in your professional life and who has perspective of the daily trials and tribulations that you face. Your mentor is there to offer the sound advice and insight that will help you grow.

Your role as a mentee

It is important to realise that the relationship between you and your mentor does not just exist to benefit you, but your mentor as well. Make the effort to inspire, educate and bond with your mentor, because one day you could be the Obi-Wan Kanobi and find yourself becoming an impactful mentor to someone as well.