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Navigating a successful career path is hard work. Sometimes the most obvious choices are the exact wrong move, while seemingly obscure routes will lead you to your destination. In time, you’ll likely figure some of this out on your own, but having a mentor on your side can help you get a lot farther in your career, a whole lot faster.

Finding a seasoned professional to serve as your mentor isn’t too difficult, but you don’t want just anyone in this key role. Look for these four characteristics in a mentor, to ensure you’re working with someone who has the capacity to guide you to career success.

  1. Kindness and Understanding

Many successful, established professionals give great advice, but become offended if you don’t take it. This won’t work in a mentoring relationship, as you need someone humble enough to offer their input, then step aside and let you make your own decisions. Sometimes you’ll succeed and other times you won’t, so it’s important to have the unconditional support of your advisor.

  1. Approachability

Having a mentor you look up to is an amazing experience, but make sure you feel comfortable with the person. If you’re so intimidated by your advisor that you’re unable to go to them with questions, it won’t work. Instead of focusing on finding a mentor that’s a perfect fit for your specific career path, choose a seasoned professional you can relax around. This person will still have the resources to help with your career and you’ll get much more out of the relationship.

  1. A Past Containing Both Success and Failure

In your career, you’ll likely experience both successes and failures, so you need a guide who has also weathered the storm. It’s a given that you’ll want an accomplished mentor who can dole out helpful, relevant advice, but climbing to the top of the latter typically isn’t an easy journey. An advisor who has overcome setbacks in their career can offer seriously valuable tips to learn from disappointments and get past them.

  1. Ability to Challenge You

A mentor that lifts you up and makes you feel good about yourself is great, but this person must also challenge you. There’s no point in having an advisor if they’re just going to agree with everything you do and never push back on your ideas. The best mentors aren’t afraid to give feedback that stings a bit, because they know this is necessary for your career growth.

If you’re ready to take your career to new heights, PrideStaff North Dallas is here to assist. We’re committed to helping talented professionals like you find the right fit. Our team has deep connections with some of the top companies in the Dallas area, so contact us today to get started!