Mentors -Bill Gates had Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and Luke Skywalker had Yoda. Mentors can be great assets no matter where you are in your career or in the galaxy. You can have a mentor at your current company or even outside of your company. The knowledge and opinions they can share can shape where you go with your career and can lead to your ultimate success. The 3 top reasons to have an accounting mentor:
- Office Politics – If you are able to find someone at your current job to be your mentor they can help you navigate the office politics. Office politics is a big reason people feel like they don’t get promoted which leads to a lot of frustration and even quitting. A mentor that has been at the company longer than you may be able to shed some light on personalities, promotion criteria, and how to navigate at the office on a day to day basis. Using their years of knowledge can be a great tool especially for a new employee. Some companies even pair you up with a more senior coworker from day one. Finding someone to be your mentor at your current company is a great asset to have.
- Advice – Mentors are a great sounding board. If you need someone to bounce a career path idea off of your mentor may be able to give you an opinion based on experiences they have had or have witnessed. Are you thinking about applying for the Senior Accountant role in Milwaukee? Your mentor may be able to let you know that it may not be such a good idea because the manager of the Milwaukee branch is notorious for making their employees work Saturdays or that Milwaukee seems to be a dead end for a lot of people’s careers. This is all information that you may have not known only because you haven’t been at the company as long as your mentor. Mentors are able to give an opinion with information that may have not been available to you.
- Networking – Mentors are great for networking. Adding a mentor to your network can open a lot of other doors both inside and outside your company. Maybe you want to see the tax side of accounting, your mentor may have worked with someone that made the switch from auditing to tax. This person may be your foot in the door or even just a great source of information of why or why not to make that move. Having a mentor can be like adding a whole new network. Don’t underestimate the power of a team of two.
Mentors can provide knowledge that will shape your career path, open new opportunities that would not otherwise be there, and be a sounding board to cope with the day to day grind at work. If you do not currently have a mentor, I highly suggest getting one. The relationship you have with a mentor will be an important, so the sooner your forge this relationship, the stronger it can become.