There’s a saying, “It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.” Through sharing their valuable “lessons learned,” mentors hold great potential for supporting our career advancement. You may already have a potential mentor in your network without even realizing it. If not, the Walden community offers several great resources to help you find one.
I have been fortunate to have an excellent mentor during my career. I did not connect with him through a formal mentoring program or even ask him to be my mentor. He informally guided me through sharing his experiences leading and supporting others both personally and professionally.
Jim, my mentor, is an executive who has run his own career consulting practice for 32 years. Though he is well into retirement age, he is anything but retired! He is very well-accomplished, having worked in executive positions at General Electric, the Federal Reserve, and a large outplacement firm. He is also a second generation Army veteran. He devotes substantial time and effort to supporting veterans in career transition, including a newsletter featuring career advice and job fairs. This newsletter, which started in 1994, has a circulation of 80,000 people worldwide! He does not get paid; the newsletter is part of his “Pay It Forward Endeavor.”
I met Jim through a professional association about 15 years ago. He guided me through several career transitions and a cross-country move. He has been an invaluable mentor and a wonderful friend. I am a more effective leader, follower and employee because of Jim. He has been a huge source of inspiration and I highly recommend having a career mentor.
Do you have a mentor in your professional network? Here are some great resources to find one:
- Professional associations
- Walden University Career Services Center LinkedIn group
- Walden Online Community (under Student Life in the MyWalden University Portal)
- Request to be connected with a Walden Alumni Ambassador
Written by Lisa Cook, Senior Director of the Career Services Center
Originally published in WaldenYOU Summer 2016 Edition