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The Three Mentors You Need This Year

Tiffany McGowen | June 1, 2017

A mentor is something we all want. It’s also something that’s really easy to ignore. Finding a mentor usually is relegated to the back burner by the more pressing things in life: career, family, hobbies, commitments, chores and meetings.

Being mentored is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, and it’s something that will make your career, family, hobbies, commitments, chores and meetings better, brighter and more efficient.

The Career Mentor

If finding your first mentor and developing a relationship with him or her is your next step, a great place to begin is with a mentor in your career area. If your current company supports the idea of mentors — or better yet, has a mentorship program — you’ve got it made. Go today and sign up. Don’t wait until after the bills have been paid or the laundry has been folded. Do it now.

A mentor in your field will be one of the most valuable relationships of your career. They will help you process difficult decisions, listen to your frustrations and give you tips about doing your particular job. Having a mentor who blazed a trail before you in your field gives you an advantage—you get a fast-pass to his or her spot in line in terms of experience and lessons learned.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to be mentored by someone in your company for fear that what you say or reveal to them will backfire on you. Choose a respected, talented individual and go in with full trust. If they’re bought-in to the values of the company and have succeeded there, they’re going to want you to succeed, too.

The Financial Mentor

So you’ve started to build a great relationship with a mentor at work. You’re ready to expand! Yes—having more than one mentor is OK.

My next suggestion is that you find a mentor who can help guide you in your finances. It’s true that you simply could hire a financial planner, but a mentor is going to bring a little different lens to the relationship—and here’s a bonus: They’re not going to charge for their guidance.

Look for a financial mentor who has been successful with money in their own life. He or she may be a teacher who was so savvy with their salary that they quietly became a millionaire before retiring. He or she might be a wizard with real estate or investing.

This financial mentor can help you with money matters that go beyond simple dollars and cents. A mentor can help you weigh any questions of moral integrity as you make financial decisions, and they can steer you away from common money mistakes. Nothing teaches like experience.

The Relationship Mentor

Round out your pool of leadership advice with a relationship mentor. This type of mentor is often overlooked, but a mentor can help you make every relationship in your life stronger.

Think about the people who are most important in your life: a significant other, friends, a sister or brother, your kids. Chances are, you’ve faced relational situations with them that you didn’t know how to navigate. Or maybe you’re committed to raising your children to be the happiest, steadiest, brightest kids around, but don’t know next steps. Then again, perhaps you want to have a long-lasting, joyful marriage. Putting in a couple of hours a month to meet with a mentor you respect to work through relational matters can help you get through tough situations.

It can sound like a lot of work, but having a mentor really just amounts to a few conversations over coffee or a game of golf per month, and it’s the kind of extra step that many people haven’t taken. Being humble and diligent enough to seek the advice of mentors is what can set you apart from others. Also, remember when meeting with your mentors to make sure to set the agenda and know what you want to gain from the interactions.

And one day, when you’re approached to be a mentor, the Harvard Business Review has some great tips for how you can be the most helpful and impactful mentor possible.

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About the author
Author picture, Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen, Paycom’s Vice President of Recruiting, is responsible for the oversight of staffing corporate headquarters and growing the nationwide sales force. She has more than 10 years of recruiting experience, ranging from executive-level talent to interns, with a specialty in sales professionals. Passionate about motivation, McGowen is constantly on a coast-to-coast hunt for the best and brightest talent in every market.