Career Tools: Mentor, Advocate, Or?

by Tara Rethore, CEO of M. Beacon Enterprises LLC

Mentorship is a fairly common tool for professional development, as part of both formal mentoring programs (e.g., APMP-NCA’s Mentor-Protégé Program) and selfinitiated personal development plans. An effective mentor is usually a more experienced person who guides someone along her/his professional journey based on her/his experiences and ability to model positive behaviors. Mentors can be helpful at just about any point in one’s career and often are part of the same organization or working in a similar discipline. They’ve learned the rules of the road and share them with less experienced staff. Awesome.

Yet, is a mentor enough?

Mentors can be fabulous for building skills and navigating organizational and professional pathways. Advancing your career needs something else. Of course, you must master your work, get along
with colleagues and customers, and do what you say you will do. Delivering results consistently and with integrity remains a critical factor in advancing your career. Yet, no matter how good
you are and how well your results speak for you, neither is sufficient if you and your results are not apparent to others.

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