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In any job or industry, it is always helpful to have a mentor. Navigating your career or your immediate job responsibilities can be challenging. It is often beneficial to have someone who’s been there before you to show you the ropes. When you start a new position at a hospital, most supervisors assign you a mentor. This is someone you can ask questions about policies and procedures specific to that hospital, where things are located and get a more personalized orientation. What about a mentor for your career?
As much as you might enjoy figuring things out on your own, reading articles and books or attending seminars about advancing your career, sometimes finding someone who has “been there, done that” can move your career along faster and more smoothly. It all comes down to finding a great mentor.
Do not assume that every person who mentors you has to know who you are. This means you can learn a lot from watching the career growth and professional development strategies used by people you admire. If there is a nursing unit manager who has attained a career goal you’re aiming at, learn how she got there. She may be interested in sharing her ups and downs with you or you might be able to figure it out by watching her career choices and journey.
Many who have attained the goals you seek are willing to share their journey with you, so you don’t make the same mistakes. Be upfront about what you’re looking for and why you want to spend time with them. Nothing is more hurtful than to find the person who has befriended you is only seeking your professional advice and has no real interest in you personally. While that might not be the case – you really may be interested in them personally – if you’re not upfront about what you’re looking for that is how it will be perceived.
You probably have spent time counseling friends, family or patients only to find that the advice you gave was never used. If you are truly looking for advice that will help advance your career, it’s important you take it and use it. You’ll likely get poor advice along the way, which is why it’s important to analyze what you’re told. Be sure you communicate why you didn’t take advice from someone, so they understand their time with you was not wasted. Be sure you let them know how their contribution has affected your life. A handwritten thank-you note, kudos on Facebook or an email of appreciation go a long way.
The process of finding a mentor could take weeks, months or even a couple of years. Relationships need to grow organically, so the individual you may hope becomes your mentor may also be a strong supporter in your professional network. Keep your eye on the ball and remember that career development is not an overnight process.
Capital Healthcare Solutions is a nationwide company that can help you grow your professional career and network. Call our recruiter today and get started working with a company that puts you first.