Seeking (and Finding) a Powerful Mentor
Career transitions can be tough, even when your new job is a great match with a great company. A fresh start brings exciting responsibilities and the possibility to be instrumental in the growth and development of your new company – but this can mean a LOT of pressure as well. Getting to know your new team members and company culture, ensuring that you are being your most efficient and impactful, growing the company, and continuing to work on your own career growth can become a tricky balancing act.
The Good News: You Don’t have to go it Alone!
One of the most rewarding things you can do in your career journey is to find a mentor. A mentor is a teacher, an advisor, and a friend who is willing to give guidance and support during your time of professional growth within your new company and beyond. A powerful mentor will also challenge you and ask you difficult questions whose answers will be stepping stones in your own development.
· Take a look at the people around you, you may realize that you have already met him or her! It is tempting to look at successful strangers as sources of inspiration and wisdom, but in the end, they do not know you and will likely not be willing to invest time and effort into mentoring an unfamiliar person. Someone who has already met you and seen your inner rockstar at work will be much keener to deepen their relationship with you.
· Ask yourself which members of your network you respect and admire. They do not have to work for the same company as you. It could be that professor from college who wrote all your recommendation letters, the advisor for your master’s thesis, your friend’s father, who happens to also work in the life-sciences, or one of the managers in your previous job. The important thing is to find a person that you feel you can trust and get along with. (Check out our post on engaging your network during career transitions for helpful advice on mining your network).
· Look for someone with experience relevant to you. This does not mean an expert in your field – you are not looking for a coach who will give you specific instructions on dealing with a particular issue. You want somebody with whom you can create a satisfying long-term partnership. Find a person who may have gone through similar experiences, someone who is in the type of position where you would like to be someday, or someone that shares many of your skills and strengths.
· Make sure your potential mentor inspires you. Would you enjoy a similar career pathway to the one they have followed? Do you leave your meetings with them feeling energized and full of ideas? If the answer is no, you have probably not found the right person.
· Reach out. Good things don’t always come to those who wait! Engage with your potential mentor. Meet with them over coffee and come prepared with your questions and concerns. Then allow the conversation to flow. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Look for a sense of connection. The best mentorships are organic matches that feel as natural as your new job!
You were asked to interview because they are interested in you, be confident and take the opportunity to learn about your potential new company. Embrace being yourself and stand out, this makes you memorable!
Our pharma recruitment specialists here at Seuss Recruitment will mentor you through your career transition with passion and dedication, but we also believe that finding another trusted long-term career development mentor will bring nothing but rewards to your professional life.
The right person can give you the boost you need to reach extra heights. So, go looking. At worst, you’ll learn more about your strengths and goals in the process, and at best, you’ll have a career-boosting figure in your life-science life.