The saying ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ is a powerful statement as a recruitment consultant, especially when it comes to career progression.
4.5 min read
We all like to think we have an exclusive and exceptional arsenal of skills but often those skills are not being exposed to the correct people to help us progress professionally.
Many professionals do not have access to peers with superior skills and experience to use as a measuring stick to help us develop professionally. This leaves us as ‘big fish in little ponds’ and operating in an underdeveloped market where there is little room for professional progression.
To progress, we need people to know about our talent and we need to continue to improve our skills. This is where mentors can offer so much towards professional development.
In this blog we address the ‘mega’ areas a mentor can help in our evolution as a Recruitment Consultant:
Let’s get stuck in:
What to look for in a mentor
Often mentors will spend a great deal of their time building a strong cohort of likeminded and well-connected individuals around them.
They can be your mentor’s business partners, former and current colleagues, sporting acquaintances (golf buddies, friends they attend sporting events with) and actual business networking groups.
This network can be made up of business owners, C-level executives, decision makers and influencers.
The opportunity lies with access through a mentor to their network and potential new opportunities for jobs, information, resources and possibly new mentors.
The great thing about having a well-connected mentor is they can point you to others in their network that have the vital information you want and need to help you progress. It also allows your talents to land on that extended network’s radar if they need someone with your abilities.
The experience of your mentor is possibly one of the best reasons to align yourself with them to help in the development of your progression as a recruitment consultant.
A great mentor acquires what is known as experiential learning. This is a strong form of learning as it’s ‘on the job’ learning that mirrors reality and requires deep involvement and reflection.
Reflection gives a person the advantage of reviewing what they have done well and what needs improvement. It allows them to focus and repeat on success, rinse and repeating it continuously making the success more efficient and therefore scalable.
This learned experience of test and then find success will offer you as the mentored the ability to by-pass the years refining the processes of trial and error. Through experiential learning your mentor can offer you a working structure that is based on best practice whilst sharing their rationale for why their system works and what hasn’t in the past.
We live in a world we want things of tomorrow, today. We are desperate to gain success as quickly as possible and we believe there’s nothing wrong with that.
Getting the support of a great mentor will help you achieve progression and success as quickly as possible.
The previous two points discuss how an extensive network and their experience can offer the opportunity to by-pass the mistakes they have made and focus on the areas which will give you the greatest return.
The trick here will be to take best practice from your mentor and potentially their network and repurpose it and evolve it so you can position yourself as a leader and authority in your chosen field.
When this is approached strategically and successfully you should have a recipe for success and it will give you the chance to stand out from the crowd.
4. Reflected Glory
If you have taken the time to identify a strong mentor this person will most probably have a significant standing within your chosen business community.
By aligning yourself with them you can then be identified as a peer, offering you the benefit of professional ‘reflected glory’.
As your mentor will be seen as an authority, by mixing, learning and spending time with this professional will extend their personal and professional brand equity on to you.
This will help your progression as it can be seen as a sign of approval from your mentor. Your mentor’s extended reputation is shone on to you repositioning your own brand in the eyes of their community.
We would never swear by the opening line in this blog because we believe there needs to be a healthy balance between knowledge and network, but we are confident you will understand the value of enjoying the correct people in your network.
So to finish off, approach your decision to identify a mentor strategically. Put in the time to make sure you they will be able to offer the four benefits above and importantly as you may need to spend a good deal of time with them make sure you enjoy being in their company.