I once heard that finding the right mentor is a bit like finding a partner — you need to have good chemistry and mesh well together. And just like you might swipe right on a few people and have more than one soulmate in life, you can have several mentors throughout your career.
A mentor can give you wise advice when you need a sounding board, whip you into shape when you need it, help you see the forest for the trees, and offer you objective words of wisdom when you feel you need it most.
The inspirational powerhouses below have each experienced the benefits of having a mentor or three — take it from them and seek out your mentor(s) too.
1. “Mentorship is valuable because there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. I appreciate mentors that have a great balance of experience and guts. In today’s marketplace, you need a bit of both to truly stand out. For me, professional development is about building upon practical feedback and applying it in real-world situations. Since that’s what I’ve learned the most from, that’s what I try to relay to anyone who asks me for advice.” — Jessica Alba
2. “The key to being a good mentor is to help people become more of who they already are — not to make them more like you.” — Suze Orman
3. Advice has many faces, and your wealth of knowledge cannot be limited to just one. But it’s up to you to do something with the advice you get. No one can do the work for you. — Aliza Licht, Author and Voice of DKNY PR Girl
4. “Mentors aren’t there to flatter you; they’re there to help you. So stop looking for “the one” because you won’t find one, you’ll find many.” — Donna Karan, in the forward to Aliza Licht’s book, Leave Your Mark
5. Ultimately, my mentors are my team. They are my president, my CTO, my creative director, our head of marketing and our head of design. They all have more experience than I do at everything that they’re doing, and they mentor me every day. I’d say the world is my mentor — but for the most part it’s been the awesome team that I’ve been so lucky to surround myself with. — Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal and Author of #Girlboss
6. “I observed how [Deepak Chopra] spoke to people, how he answered people, what he said, in those beautiful complicated sentences he formed within his head, and in doing so I became more of the person I wanted to be. Here the universe had allowed me to meet someone I so greatly admired and learned from — and because I was so thankful, I tried my best to never take from him but to allow his nature, his information to sink in me.” — Designer Rachel Roy, on citing Deepak Chopra as her mentor
7. “It is important as a leader to be the first to admit what you don’t know. Seek out mentors in those areas as well as mentors who inspire and motivate you in areas where you already excel. To know someone who you respect has your best interest in mind and will give you candid, albeit sometimes tough, advice is an invaluable gift.” — Lauren Bush, CEO and Founder of FEED
8. “Mentors are invaluable in guiding us through blind spots and navigating metaphorical shark-infested waters. Suze [Orman] has already traversed so many of the paths I’ve yet to walk as a businesswoman and hearing from her experience has saved me invaluable time, money, and resources.” — Jillian Michaels, Personal Trainer, Author, Television Personality
9. “I’ve said many times: I learned more from my mentors than I did in some of my toughest college classes.” — Tamron Hall, TODAY Show Host
10. “It’s funny that the idea of a mentor is usually this person who is more experienced than you, but I also think it works just as well when it’s someone who has different experience than you do. We have an amazing group of peers and friends who are in the industry — in content in one way or another — and have always been so supportive and helpful.” — Hillary Kerr, in an interview with Fashionista.com, on the evolution of WhoWhatWear from fashion e-newsletter to fashion line
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