Having a mentor to help bring a new perspective to your career or your job search can make all the difference in the world. If you ever find yourself confused or at a loss as you plan your career or your next career move, consider reaching out to a mentor. Mentors offer unbiased thinking, experience and a new perspective that can be invaluable when it comes to giving you the push you need to consider new opportunities.
“Wharton management professor Katherine Klein says what mentees look for in a relationship with a mentor is ‘having a sounding board and a place where it’s safe to be vulnerable and get career advice,’” according to an article by Knowledge@Wharton. “‘It’s a relationship where one can let one’s guard down, a place where one can get honest feedback, and a place, ideally, where one can get psychological and social support in handling stressful situations.’”
Whether you seek advice from a mentor or learn from others while networking, talking to others in your field can help open your eyes to a shift in your career path that you may not have otherwise considered.
Take Roger’s story. He’s the star of our Engineering Career GPS video series on Engineering.com. He’s unhappy with his job and has been wrestling with the idea of a career change. In the latest episode, Roger realizes his longtime dream of working at an aerospace company may not be the right path after he makes time to sit down with a mentor. Instead, he’s drawn to the variety of responsibilities and professional development opportunities available at an engineering consulting company.
That’s exactly why it’s critical to expand your professional network and enlist the help of trusted peers and colleagues. You may be holding on to a longtime dream career when, in reality, it’s not the best move. It’s difficult to make that sort of decision on your own, which is why an outside perspective can give you the push you need to step outside your comfort zone.
And as Roger finds after talking to his mentor, discovering the ideal career fit won’t just boost your on-the-job satisfaction and give you the chance to develop existing skills. The success and passion for your field can translate into other opportunities, such as invitations to participate in conferences or on panel discussions. A world of possibilities awaits once you’ve identified your professional niche and taken the steps to make your ambitions a reality.
If you, like Roger, are considering the diversity of projects, tasks and responsibilities available in a consulting environment, consider a position with Burns & McDonnell. Be sure to visit our Careers pages for the latest job openings, and while you’re at it, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.