One of the most important pieces of advice that I can give is to find a mentor or someone to look up to whether in your career, school, or just life in general. Throughout grade school my mentor was my sister Kristen. She was a year ahead of me in school so she had always just completed classes that I was about to take. It was great to ask her advice and listen to her tips on which teachers to avoid. She became a psychology major in college so that’s where her mentoring ended, but even in our basic classes at college she provided a big help to me! I think that everyone should find a person like her who you can look up to for advice and not be afraid to ask any questions to.
Finding a mentor becomes even more important when you get closer to starting your career. It is very difficult to make huge decisions on your own without anyone else’s input. Having someone who has been through the process is a great advantage as they can give you advice on what to do. If you are unsure about what path to take, mentors can let you know all of the options that you may not have thought about and give you pros and cons of each. If they have been in your shoes recently making the same decisions, they will remember what they wish they would have known at that point and can help guide you along.
Mentors don’t end when you start your career. During my internship, I was provided with two mentors: a buddy who was one level higher than me and a career advisor who was much higher. My buddy was a person who I could ask any questions without feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. I went to her plenty of times to ask simple questions such as how to use the copier, how to file a tax return, and even the code to the bathroom. My career advisor was great to ask questions about in the long run of my career. He had a lot of experience in public accounting, as well as industry, so he gave me a perspective of what the working environment was like in both. He also gave me tips on how to do my work more efficiently and even took time out to teach me a tax concept I was having trouble with. It is good to keep relationships with your co-workers that are above you because they are also the ones who decide if you will get an offer, promotion, raise, etc.
My advice is to find someone who you can look up to. Model yourself after this person or take their advice in what you should do with your life. This person may be a family member, school mate, co-worker, or celebrity. Just make sure you aren’t afraid to ask for their advice!