5 Benefits of Having a Professional Mentor
When standing on the edge of the forest, it can be a little overwhelming to find a starting point—the same is true of the beginning of a career. Turning "dreams into reality" or "passions into paychecks" are great ambitions, but if you're discovering that those are easier said than done, you're not alone. The logging business requires a unique drive, motivation, and work ethic, and pairing that young ambition with some seasoned expertise can set you well on your way to success.
Formal or informal, family or friend—building a relationship with a professional mentor can benefit you in many ways, like these:
Sharing Successes and Failures—it's been said that you only fail if you stop trying, and a good mentor is likely a good example of someone who did not give up. Ask questions about the places they've been or the things they wish they would have known. Hearing their triumphs as well as their trials can prevent you from making similar mistakes and remind you that problems cannot be avoided, but they can be turned into progress.
- Faster Growth—there's typically more than one way to get from Point A to Point B, but if you had a shortcut, you'd take it, right? Someone who has traveled ahead of you can help guide you down the most direct path to success, speeding up your growth and accomplishing your goals.
- Support and Motivation—if someone is willing to spend time with you discussing your future, odds are they care about where you're heading. Knowing that there's a person who has your back is a confidence-booster and very reassuring when facing new challenges and opportunities. A good sense of accountability can also drive you to work harder and achieve more.
- Long-Term Perspective—focusing on the "here and now" feels productive, but occasionally, it's helpful to look up and out toward what's ahead. Having a mentor can help you zoom out from the daily tasks and create a vision for your business—one that will grow and last. Planning and thinking long-term can ensure that you will continue doing what you love on a day-to-day basis.
- Building Connections—knowing people goes a long way. After being in the industry for many years, a mentor is likely to have connections and friendships with people who also can contribute to your career. You can't expect your mentor to know everything, but you can typically count on him or her knowing someone who does know what you need. Finding a mentor is the first step toward getting plugged in to the industry's "family tree" and branching out.
As a logger, we're already certain that you have the qualities it takes to succeed. Combine your natural love for what you do with the guidance of a mentor and you’ll be unstoppable. Reach out to someone you know who will commit to sharing their experiences and knowledge with you. You won't regret it.
We hope these tips help you keep climbing, because at John Deere, We're For Loggers.