Ok, in our last blog, I introduced the first of 10 ways to make certain that you get that next promotion. The first way we discussed was to Decide where you might want to go within your organization, or your field of endeavor. So, in part 3 today, we will cover the second way, which is to Find a Mentor. This is exceptionally important because it will help you substantially reduce the trial and error component of understanding what is important in your organization. You see, there is a collection of concepts, attitudes, perspectives, etc, that make up your company culture. Understanding what makes up your company culture is exceptionally important to you on your path to get to that next opportunity, and ultimately to where you want within your organization. A good Mentor can help you do that faster and more effectively.
Now your Mentor does not need to work within yourorganization, however it is best if they do. It could be your direct supervisor, again however, most times that is not an ideal scenario for a myriad of distinct reasons. Ideally, it is someone, who is where you would like to be some day, even is they are not in the role you ultimately want. As long as they are further along the path you have determined as the direction you would like to go, they can be of assistance. It could be someone from your industry currently or someone who worked in the industry or even your company at one time. But they are still engaged or up to speed on what is going on. With the speed of technology and the changing landscapes of industries these days, someone who has been out of the game for more than a few years, likely won’t be able to help in key areas of your development.
Picking a good mentor is also an important part of your success equation. A mentor needs to want to be a mentor and your mentor. A personality match is quite important, and you must see yourself being willing to take guidance from this person. They must be able to coach you and help you understand the landscape of the organization, as well as providing developmental coaching on leadership. They should understand the necessary job skills for those next roles, and ultimately, they can help you uncover your gaps in your style or work habits and help you to improve in areas that you may need work on to prepare for those next opportunities. Your mentor also should be prepared to challenge you when you are missing vital details or shirking responsibilities and likely may need to remind you to get back on track.
Another vital component is that the mentor must see in you the potential, work ethic, passion, etc, to want to invest their time and energy into helping you. Now in most cases, a good mentor is doing this as an altruistic endeavor, meaning they are not doing it for any compensation. However, you should always approach any relationship with the intent to provide value in return for value, so understanding what is in it for them, will be equally important. Otherwise, the additional time and energy spent helping you may not have the same luster that you both started with. It may be that they just want to help you, and that is great, but don’t ever miss the opportunity to do something for them in return. No one appreciates someone who always takes and never offers anything in return.
As you can see, a good mentor could mean all the difference in your next opportunity, and they may even be one of your biggest allies at work, because they know how things work and they are prepared to give you the kind of coaching necessary, while being a strong confidant. They also will have key professional contacts that they can provide to you when the time is right. Sometimes knowing the right people is as important as being ready for the role.
A terrific book I just recently picked up by Tim Robbins “How to Find Your Perfect Mentor”, which you can find a link for below to buy on Amazon, outlines your strategy for how to find that perfect mentor.
And for more information about an effective strategy on how to prepare for that next opportunity, you may want to consider our Goal Setting Coaching Programs, where we review your current skill sets, help you evaluate your potential opportunities, and then put together a strategy to develop the necessary skills for those next roles and ensure you are prepared for that next big promotion. For more information, visit our site at www.EricWhitmoyer.com/Coaching and review our newest coaching program tailored specifically for people like you!
Thanks for reading, check back next week for Part 4.