Imagine going for a job interview and being asked to wait for a call that never comes. Imagine sending out a thousand CVs and receiving zero feedback. I became so acquainted with the word ‘Unfortunately’ that I stopped trying. This is my story but I know hundreds of people are walking down this lane on a daily basis. But you can’t really blame us though; you have better luck catching a flu than landing a job in this country. I call the duration of time between getting a degree and landing a job; a lobby or waiting room; others term it depression or frustration; pick a name and join the queue.  

I got my breakthrough in a lobby while waiting for my turn during a job interview. For the first time I was grateful for my ability  to eavesdrop because those whispered words started my career. The two ladies seated closest to me were talking about some summit for women which didn't really interest me at the time but I butted in and got details anyway because I was desperate. I was still jobless and idle on the day of the summit so I decided to go mingle with the rich, you know what they say ‘fake it till you make it’ and besides the venue was classy and the summit didn't cost a lot so I put on some makeup, slipped on my best stilettos and went for the summit.

The best decision I ever made was getting out of bed that morning and going for that summit; it was the best two hours of my life and getting an opportunity to be mentored by someone I admired was the icing on the cake. Having a mentor to guide you through your corporate journey is a lot more important that most of us realise and it took me a lot of rejection to understand that. Here are five reasons why mentorship is an integral part of your personal and professional growth;

Mentors Give You In Depth KnowledgeMentors give you insights about not just the corporate world but your field which is sure to guarantee you success in your career path and be of great assistance during your job hunting. They offer detailed and skilled instructions on how to perform particular tasks and excel. My first meeting with my mentor made me realise I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did about my career path and I had really been flunking those interviews I thought I aced. I can bet an arm and a leg on the fact that I'm not alone on this table.
Mentors Help Set and Accomplish your  Goals

A mentor helps you set and accomplish both personal and professional goals by keeping tabs on your productivity. They equally help keep you grounded and on track while motivating you to complete your goals. Before meeting my mentors I had set goals which I somehow couldn’t achieve. Fast forward to when I met my mentor, I achieved every goal I set; it might have had something to do with the fact that someone I looked up to was watching my every move and I knew that I didn’t want to let her down; I didn’t want to let myself down so I set achievable goals and I worked extra hard to achieve them.
Mentors Help You Network

Mentors make the networking process a lot easier. You've probably heard the saying ‘destiny helper’? That’s a mentor. As people who have a higher-level of experience and positions in their industry, mentors can help you meet and make connections that will help throughout your career journey. I’d say the best thing my mentor did was connect me to people who helped me then and are still my saving grace today. There is no such thing as a useless contact in the corporate world; a contact today could be a client tomorrow so network wisely.

Mentors Help Develop Necessary skills

There are certain skills that you can’t learn by yourself or from your boss. Mentees can easily develop soft skills like; listening, receiving and giving feedback. Mentors provide unbiased advice or opinions from experience which can be of great help to both your personal/career growth. I was able to learn a lot by just observing and having conversations with my mentor and the fact that she was a no-nonsense person was an added bonus, a pain on occasion but a blessing regardless.

Mentors Offer Encouragement

As a mentee when you find yourself struggling with a task, decision or goal the person you want to turn to is your mentor. A friend might offer consolation but a mentor will offer a relevant and experienced opinion. It helps if he/she is in the same field as you. Your mentors can’t be at your beck and call; they’re busy people but rest assured when the problem is dire they will show up and offer assistance to the best of their capacities. They won’t fight your battles but they will equip you for it. So three years, eight failed businesses and a hundred failed job interviews later, I finally boycotted the unemployment queue and it all started by me getting a mentor.

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