Standing on the shoulders of giants during your career can open a lot of doors for you to learn from the generous people that have accomplished a lot in their lives and who are willing to share their insights.
It is surprising how open people are to sharing their own story while helping encourage you to develop your own. Whether it was a mentor feeding me information and loading up my iPad with business and personal development books or former CEOs of private and public companies placing me under their wing, without the help of mentors, I would not have been able to expedite my learning and be open to the opportunities that have presented themselves to me so far in my career.
Loyalty and determination are not always positive traits. Sometimes you need someone to get in your face a little to let you know that something isn’t working and it is time to move on. When you are finally done chasing your own tail, your mentor can politely remind you that it was painful to watch but happy you are ready to move on.
New beginnings lead to new opportunities; one should not be afraid to embrace them. It is encouraging to associate with people who have accomplished goals you wish to achieve or that have endured some relatable adversity that they overcame themselves. Their support can be very helpful during times of transition especially when they have been helping push you to change and grow.
When the time is right, pay it forward and offer someone else your time. Volunteering as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation has allowed me to learn a lot from my matches as a mentor myself. In most cases, these types of relationships are reciprocal.
Learning from other people gives you short cuts and provides inspiration. Mentors may change at different stages of your career as you grow. You may not get there on your own without one—though some people can mentor themselves, I have needed mine.
If the opportunity arises and someone is willing to share their insights, wisdom and time be thankful and take them up on it.