In her next column for TheLatch—, career woman and CMO Michelle Battersby shares the power of mentorship when it comes to career progression. Formerly the APAC marketing director at Bumble and now CMO for Keep it Cleaner, Michelle has an appreciation for her own mentors, who have helped to guide her on the path to success.
I am lucky enough to have been guided by some incredibly inspirational people over the course of my career. A mentor can be an endless source of motivation, act as a critical sounding board or be a rational voice of reason when taking big professional leaps of faith.
I’ve begun to think of mentors like a group of friends. There is always one you can rely on for a good time, the sensible one, the adventurous one, the old soul, the good listener and so on. Mentors can too fill different pockets of needs within your own career path.
I wanted to break down, why I think mentors are so important to helping you get to where you want to go professionally.
They bring an objective opinion
It is amazing the clarity you can get from someone who is experienced but is also independent of your work environment. All workplaces have politics and personalities, and this can naturally mean that you can start to make decisions that are subjective or based on emotion.
Enter a solid mentor; someone removed from the ins and outs of a particular company culture. Someone who can rationally and objectively provide guidance on how you can get to where you want to go.
They help you build confidence
We have all made mistakes in our career and if you work hard and are invested in what you do, a mistake can naturally mean a hit to your confidence. Having a mentor who can support you, be an ally and remind you of your professional strengths is so very important.
We have actually built Keep it Cleaner on this very principle. That if you have someone supporting you along your wellness journey, someone who is willing to share their own insecurities and struggles, you won’t feel alone and your confidence will grow.
They challenge you to go further
Ever gone on a run with someone and gone kilometres further than you ever have before? Having a mentor to challenge you is the same thing. There have been times in my career when a mentor has given me a push just when I have needed it, a push that has made me step out of my comfort zone and has led to huge career growth.
They offer a level of expertise of experience beyond your own
Experience can come from many factors: time, perspective, exposure. A mentor can give you access to a broader range of knowledge that can help you professionally. Jackie Frank once said to me, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.”
This is something that couldn’t be more true. Find a mentor who you can learn from, someone who is willing to share their wisdom.
They bring out the best in you
I like to think that the mentors I have had to date have shone a light on qualities that I might have overlooked. They have taught me that sometimes it is easier to see things in others’ qualities that you might miss yourself. By bringing certain professional attributes to my attention, I have been able to believe in myself even when a career decision might be totally terrifying.
Think of mentors as your professional support crew — a team who has got your back and can guide you to where you want to go. Seek out many and call on them often. That’s what I do.