12 career tips of Christmas – day seven

Identify a mentor

At this time of year, everyone in adland is busy crystal-ball gazing to predict what the year ahead will look like. It’s easy to forget that the year end should also signal a time to refocus and reflect on past achievements as well as plan ahead. With that in mind, NABS is running its own 12 Days of Christmas series, on career tips. On each working day, right the way up to Christmas eve, the NABS career team will be sharing their expertise on everything from handling pressure to building networks, from listing achievements, to adding value.

Identify a mentor that you can trust and aspire to be like, learning from someone who has the traits and skills you desire to have can benefit your professional development and help you throughout your career.

Choosing your mentor can be a difficult task, ideally they should be someone in the work place who you respect and get on with. While constructive criticism and advice are important, you also need to choose someone who is willing to praise you when you succeed at a task. They should also be honest and able to identify with the level you are working at, willing to impart their own insights and advice to help guide you through your career, keeping you on track by providing a vital supporting role. The assistance a mentor can give will vary from setting goals and objectives, to providing support if you are experiencing a difficult part of your own development, they shouldn’t however be someone you can always expect to help bail you out when you find yourself way in over your head.

If there is no one in your immediate work circle who would be willing to provide that mentoring role, there are other ways to get that guiding support you need. Attending networking events and meeting up with friends and old colleagues in the industry can help you to discuss and learn from each other’s experiences.

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