4 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor


Have you ever felt a little lost when it comes to your career? Perhaps you didn’t know how to demonstrate your value in the workplace, or you were trying to decide if you should be looking for another job outside of your organization. Talking to your friends and family members about these kinds of challenges can be helpful and allow you to vent. However, family members and friends are usually biased towards you and can only speak from their personal experience. If they aren’t in your industry or have held a similar position, their feedback might not be as valid.

A mentor is a person who has the professional experience to provide meaningful insight applicable to your situation. The ideal fit for a mentor is a life science professional with some knowledge of your industry or who has a similar background. Your mentor doesn’t have to be a senior-level executive. It can be helpful if they are just further along in their career than you are. Here are four reasons why you need a mentor!

Increased job satisfaction

A recent @Work Survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey looked at the connection between mentorship and workplace happiness. They found that those with mentors at work are more likely to say they are satisfied with their jobs (91% versus 79%). According to John Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s Chief Research Officer, “The data tell us people find significant value in having mentors, and the benefits are clear at any stage of people’s careers.” The support of a mentor can help you feel like you aren’t alone, trying to figure everything out by yourself.

The ability to learn things faster

What topics, processes and/or software programs would be beneficial for you to know? We live in a time where rapid advancements in science and technology can quickly render the information in university coursework obsolete. In essence, a good mentor usually knows more about your career path than you do. They can suggest special training, courses or certifications to help you develop based on their experience. A mentor can also provide examples from their past to prevent you from wasting time or making mistakes. The old saying that “two heads are better than one,” applies here.

Have an outside point of view

Sometimes it is difficult for us to focus objectively on our situation or current circumstances. We might get caught up in drama or draining situations with colleagues and be unsure of how to proceed. A mentor can provide helpful advice and recommendations during these moments. Getting feedback from a trusted person who isn’t directly involved in a situation is another way to ensure you are moving in the right direction. Having this outside point of view is also vital when you are entering a new field, beginning a new position or trying something outside of your comfort zone.

You can speed up career progression

The @Work Survey also found that professionals with mentors are more likely to say their company provides opportunities for advancement (71% versus 47%). It is common that the result of you being happier at work, learning things quicker and staying focused (with an outside point of view) may lead to others seeing you in a positive light. Individuals with good reputations are usually considered for promotions and raises more often. Since your mentor has probably been where you are, they can assist in your career progression, which helps you move farther in a shorter period of time.

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How much further do you think you could get in your career with more support? Having a mentor can increase your satisfaction with work and assist you in learning new things faster. Confiding in someone with an outside point of view allows you to receive unbiased feedback and insight. Mentorship can also speed up your career progression as a result of numerous positive factors. Now that you know why you need a mentor, understanding what to look for in a mentor is the next step. How would having a mentor help in your current role?

Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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