From improved career outcomes to increased motivation, studies have shown that career mentors can really help you advance your career. However, not every workplace is set up for a traditional boss or senior-level developer mentoring you at a junior level and beyond. So, what should you do if you can’t find a career mentor the traditional way? Look into one or more of these 5 unconventional professional mentors that will help advance your IT career.
1. Industry Experts: Though you may not have direct connections to technical experts in your field, you can probably find them on various social media platforms. These industry leaders often share bits of wisdom, cutting-edge methods and emerging technologies, and advice on their various social media profiles. Follow them to learn passively and, if you want to put yourself out there, ask them a question and see if they respond! You may be able to establish some back-and-forth that could help propel your career to new heights.
2. Exercism: Passive learning is essential for success in your IT job, right? Then you should use a platform like Exercism! It’s one part coding practice along a wide variety of tracks and one part mentorship. Basically, you choose a language to master, then complete a coding challenge on your computer. After, you’ll upload your solution and review it with a mentor. As you go, you’ll unlock different concepts and exercises and eventually complete the language track and achieve fluency. It’s the best way to kill two birds with one stone!
3. Knowledgeable IT Recruiter: If you’re looking for industry expertise, someone to help you take the next steps in your career, and someone who can motivate and encourage you, one of the best resources is a knowledgeable IT Recruiter. Whether you refer to them as headhunters, recruiting agencies, staffing agencies or something else, these businesses exist to help technical professionals like you find the right job opportunity. For those in the Dallas/Fort Worth or Southern California (from Los Angeles to Long Beach to Irvine and everywhere in between), the Search Executives at Camden Kelly are your best option because they go through rigorous training, have a lot of localized industry expertise, and strive to do better every day than they did the day before.
4. Accountability Partner: If you’re looking for a mentor who can keep you on track with your career goals and keep you motivated, you may get the same benefits from an accountability partner. This could be a coworker, someone in your professional network who is on the same career level you are, or even a friend who has some technical knowledge or knowledge of the IT industry. Partner up with them, share your goals and what you’re working towards, and set up regular times to check in with each other to make sure you’re both staying on the right track.
5. Mentor Yourself: If you can’t find a mentor to boost your motivation or your chances at a successful career, try looking in the mirror! You can do a lot more to mentor yourself than you might realize.
You can improve your motivation and your chances at a successful career without having to go the traditional mentorship route. Try one or more of these options and see which works best for you and your personal IT career.