If your New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, here’s an idea to help you get back on track: Find a mentor. In an Accountemps survey, 86 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said having a mentor is somewhat or very important for career development, yet only 26 percent of workers have one. Only 18 percent of female professionals interviewed said they have a mentor compared to 33 percent of male respondents. Among the greatest benefits of this relationship, according to CFOs, is learning firsthand from someone in a role to which you aspire.

Accountemps_Mentoring_Infographic

Workers were asked, “Do you have a mentor?” Their responses:

Total

Male

Female

18-34 years

35-54 years

55+ years

Yes

26%

33%

18%

41%

17%

15%

No

74%

67%

82%

59%

83%

85%

 

“An experienced mentor can be a catalyst to help professionals at all levels advance their careers,” said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. “A mentor can help navigate career challenges, provide encouragement, and share insights from past successes and failures. Frequently, mentors inside the company end up being strong career advocates for those they take under their wings, helping them rise through the organization.”

Driscoll added, “It doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Often, the mentor may learn new skills from the mentee. Companies can help develop their staff and encourage cross-training by offering formal mentorship programs.”

Accountemps offers five tips for fostering mentor relationships:

  1. Pick the right mentors. Think about individuals you’d like to emulate. An advisor within the company may be better equipped to help you navigate personalities and politics, while an external mentor can serve as a sounding board and help you stay current on industry trends.
  2. Follow up regularly. Make it a priority to stay in touch with your mentor at a frequency that works for both of you. Send an occasional email update or ask a question when you run into a challenge.
  3. Come prepared. Use time with your advisor wisely by setting an agenda in advance of the conversation. What do you want to take away from the meeting? The more specific you can be, the better the outcome.
  4. Show appreciation. Mentoring requires commitment – make sure you show gratitude. Tell your mentor how his or her guidance has helped you on your career path.
  5. Identify when it’s time to move on. Busy schedules, changing career paths and major moves could all change the relationship. When you see signs that a mentorship has run its course, it’s okay to part ways. Just don’t sever ties completely – your mentor will always be a valuable contact for you.

About the Research

The surveys were conducted by an independent research firm. They include responses from more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

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SOURCE Accountemps

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