Having someone to share your thoughts with and learn from has always been beneficial in work, but as the world of work evolves the importance of a professional mentor is now more vital than ever before. Having your own mentor, someone to get feedback and advice from ensures you are always learning and improving – an essential if you want to excel in any business. So much so 80% of CEOs state they have received some form of mentor during their career.
Michael Jackson speaks from experience…”Being lucky enough to have good mentors is really important. I was fortunate that I was surrounded by some very supportive people, including our former Managing Partner Liam Quirke, who took a real interest in my career very early on and was always there as a sounding board and a guide. There are other people I have worked with in my own group who have been a big help, including Tara Doyle, the current Head our Asset Management Department. Tara was very good in terms of providing feedback, advice and tips about things she thought we could be doing differently.”
In addition to guidance and support, a mentor can also offer insider knowledge and access to connections and opportunities, that would be otherwise out of reach.
The importance of listening & accepting mentor feedback
However, a mentor will only improve your career if you are willing to work hard and listen. Michael Jackson confirms…”The ability to listen and take advice on board is important. So, I would put success down to an element of luck, but also mentorship. As managing partner, that is something I have tried to instill further in the firm, so we have some formal mentoring programmes now at all levels, which has been very well received by participating members. ”
As Michael states, a professional mentor can come in many forms – from a formal mentor programme to relationships within your own business to exposure to senior clients or business people outside your own organisation. More recently senior employees, at companies such as the BBC, have also been accepting junior mentors, to keep up to date with the opinions of younger generations and to gain a new perspective on business plans, ideas and digital innovations. Simply gaining exposure to new ideas and opinions from other successful people, no matter or junior or senior, will help you to learn and grow.