In today’s job market, it’s not enough to have a degree in your related field; it’s equally important to make connections with people who can steer you in the right direction, career and skills-wise.
Our own Susan Hall has written quite a bit here on IT Business Edge about finding a mentor, and Don Tennant has written about how employees who are mentored often pay it forward to others looking for help.
If you’re looking to build a lasting professional relationship with someone, you should check out this excerpt from Mark Hopkin’s book “Shortcut to Prosperity.” The book itself offers lots of help for anyone looking to navigate the corporate landscape, but the excerpt, called “Find a Mentor, or Three,” explains why finding a mentor is key to working smarter. It also goes into what makes a good mentor, and how you can be a good mentee.
In addition to the excerpt, use these tools to help take inventory of your skill sets and to form an idea of where you’d like to see your career go so that you get the most out of your mentor relationship.
Personal Attributes Inventory: Who you are should play a huge part in what you do — at least if you plan to be happy. Use this Word-based tool to take stock of your personality traits and how they should help define your career path.
Personal Training Scorecard: Personal development is a lot like an IT project — you have to identify tasks and goals in advance if you expect to see success. Use this tool to identify skills and capabilities you need to work on to reach your objectives.
IT Career Path Flow Chart: Where do you want your career to be in the next three to five years? Use this flow chart to map a course from your current position to upper management, or anywhere else you might want to go.