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As you try to navigate your professional career, the greatest asset you can have is a mentor. A mentor is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. Having a mentor truly benefits your career, because you’ll have someone to run ideas by or ask for advice in tricky situations. If your mentor has experience in the same industry, he’ll be able to speak about specific issues that you’ve both experienced and also possesses specific knowledge that an outsider would not know. Having a mentor can benefit you in a variety of ways!

An outside perspective is vital

Sometimes, you’ll feel overwhelmed with a problem or the amount of work you need to accomplish. A mentor is a person removed from the situation who can offer valuable advice you might not think of yourself. Having someone who’s more neutral to a situation gives you a fresh perspective and helps you work through any problems.

They’ll help you think of ideas

Maybe you’re struggling to think of a fresh way to advertise your business or an innovative idea you can use. It always helps to have more people working on a problem and your mentor has more wisdom and experience than you do. You can trust them to give you quality advice and help develop new ideas you would never have been able to come up with on your own.

Help you through industry politics

No matter what industry you work in, there will be workplace politics you’ll have to manage. If your mentor worked in the same industry, she’ll be able to talk you through some of these nuances and give you valuable advice on how to make the most of your opportunities and challenges. Starting out, it’ll be difficult to know how to work through interpersonal issues in the office, so a mentor can majorly help you out!

Help with personal advice

In addition to advice about your professional career and industry politics, your mentor will have significantly more life experience and can advise you on your personal life. Though it may initially feel weird to pull them into your personal life, most mentors want to help you out with all aspects of your life. If you’re considering moving or heading back to school, don’t feel bad running these ideas by your mentor to see what he thinks is the best decision.

They’ll encourage (and critique) you

Sometimes, you’ll really need someone to cheer you on in your professional pursuits that isn’t a close friend or family member. Validation is important, especially when you’re facing a large challenge. A mentor recognizes your strengths and helps you see them as well. At the same time, a mentor can offer you valuable critiques that push you closer to success. Be open to any criticisms he has and remember to carefully weigh his opinion before dismissing the critique.