Why You Need a Mentor

Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look

Happy Friday, babes! Can I just say I am ready for the weekend?! And it’s a long one too, yay! I wanted to introduce some new topics into the blog – I don’t blog full time, and I figured it’s about time I introduce the other side of my life (the one that takes up the majority of my week) into the blog. I want to start talking about issues that every career gal encounters, regardless of your profession. Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. The end of 2016 and start of the new year had everyone all like “new year, new me” – tons of reflecting and goal setting for the new year – I LOVE that kind of energy. One thing that I’ve been coming across a lot lately is the topic of mentorship. So let’s talk about it, and get into why you need a mentor.

My 9-5 is in a corporate setting. I sit at a desk, have lots of meetings, and think and talk about climbing the corporate ladder a lot. In this environment, the term “mentor” is thrown around a lot. But regardless of whether you sit in an office or freelance from home, if you’re looking to make moves and grow, you need a mentor. Something I’ve obsessed: every successful person has had help. You don’t get to where you are without a little help along the way.

So now you’re probably thinking: what exactly is a mentor, and where do I find one?

A mentor is someone you trust that can help guide and advise you as you go through your professional journey. They don’t necessarily have to be older, but they often are. They’re in a position to teach, challenge, and support you by sharing their life experiences, knowledge, and networks. These are people that have found success in their own lives and want to see you succeed in yours. They have a vested interest in your growth and success and provide the resources and support you need to get to where you want to be. They don’t do all the work for you, but they do help you become the best version of yourself and face challenges in your career head on. It’s like having a coach, cheerleader, teacher, and friend all in one. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. It comes down to finding the right person.

As Sheryl Sandberg talks about in her book Lean In, you don’t find a mentor by going up to someone and asking them to be your mentor. I’m not the biggest fan of networking, but there are similar ties to networking. It has to develop organically and feel right to both parties. More often than not, someone who wants to be your mentor will ask you and offer to play that role in your life.

Begin by thinking of qualities and attributes you admire and respect. Make a list if it helps. Then begin to look for these qualities in the people that are already in your network. Try to identify them in people you may not know. Go to events, make introductions, meet as many people as possible. When you meet someone that you admire and respect, be sure to introduce yourself and exchange contact information. But here’s the most important thing – follow up.

You’d be surprised how many people want to help others and offer up their knowledge and experiences. Giving back feels good, and at a certain point in your life it becomes one the most rewarding part of your career. The problem is most people don’t follow up. Sounds so silly but it’s true. I remember when I was recruiting for my first full time job out of college, I was always told to collect business cards at networking events and send a thank you email after. Whenever I had an interview, I was taught to always send a thank you email. Did the recruiter actually read the email? Probably not. Did they always remember who I was? Maybe. The point is, I followed up.

Fast forward a couple years when I began helping out with recruiting at my consulting job and now where I still help with recruiting for my new team. We speak to so many candidates and it continues to boggle my mind how many people do not follow up. It doesn’t hurt to send an email to thank someone for their time or ask if you can take them to coffee/lunch. The worst thing that could happen is… they don’t respond. Not a big deal at all.

To sum it all up: meet people. Find the ones you look up to and connect with. Follow up with them. Let relationships grow organically. Surround yourself with people that are positive and lift you up, and embody the qualities you wish to have and the lead the lives you wish to live yourself.

Happy Weekend, babes! Talk soon.

xx, Amy

Outfit deets below:

Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look

Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look
Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look

Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look

Why You Need a Mentor | The Luxi Look

If you don’t have a moto shearling jacket yet, you need on in your closet! The one I’m wearing in the photos is from Minkpink, but other great alternatives can be found herehere, and here. Happy shopping babes!

jacket: similar | sweater: similar | jeans: current/elliott

sunnies: yhf | bag: gucci | shoes: isabel marant

91 Discussion to this post

  1. whitney v says:

    Love your advice on finding a mentor, it’s very true that we don’t get to where we want without help. Your shearling coat is beautiful love the photography 🙂

    whitney v

    http://www.tigersinparis.com

  2. Gabrielle says:

    This was such a good post to read through! I’ve always lived with the concept of following up, though could definitely apply it more professionally, rather than just personally (when did Thank You cards/emails stop being a ‘thing’?!). Amazing outfit and photography, by the way, incredible!

    aglassofice.com
    x

  3. Areli says:

    Loving the advice Amy, yeahs its definitely important to follow up not matter what the outcome is!
    xx,
    areli’s april
    http://arelisapril.blogspot.com/

  4. Yasmin says:

    Love the entire outfit. I also loved how you spoke of sending thank you cards and emails after an interview or a networking event! Thanks for your thoughts on the subject!

    http://www.iamyasmin.ca

  5. Gemma says:

    Very inspiring post and such a lovely outfit! Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

  6. I love this entire outfit, girlie! That jacket looks both warm and stylish and I adore that GUCCI bag as well! I couldn’t agree more, a mentor is very much needed in any industry in order to learn and grow. My mentors established that role in my life in a way, like you’ve said, that’s very organic, it just happened. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have the most amazing weekend ahead, beauty!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Thanks, Jalisa! The jacket is SUPER cozy and warm : ) and I’ve been obsessing over the bag for a couple months now and finally bit the bullet… thanks for your comment, I’m glad to hear you’ve formed some wonderful relationships with mentors that continue to guide you today! Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by! xx

  7. Kathryn says:

    This is a great post, I’ve been meaning to read “Lean In” so I should probably take this as a sign to do so ASAP! I love that you mention following up – like you said, the worst that could happen is they don’t respond.

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

  8. very nice post !
    and love our chic jacket as well.

    -Neha
    LovePlayingDressup

  9. Adelina says:

    Darling, you know what you’re talking about! I appreciate your professional point of view and sound advice on this topic! A mentor is someone you should always seek and I think many of us do it subconsciously even. This is wonderful, you are wonderful and I am thankful for all your beautiful posts! xx, Adelina

    http://www.thecharmingolive.com

  10. Victoria says:

    You’re so right, no one gets anywhere without a bit of help! Love that sherpa jacket too, it’s been on my wishlist forever!

    xx Victoria
    http://www.strungingold.com

  11. Lindsey Cook says:

    Great advice, and love your outfit too!

    Lindsey
    The Fashion Barbie

  12. Well said!Love the aviator jacket:)

    xo, Dhwani

    http://www.quirksofme.com

  13. Stylehue says:

    Happy Friday! I could not agree with you more on finding a mentor, and someone to help you out. Totally agree on the networking and follow up part too. I’m not the best at networking, but I’m definitely working on it

    Xo
    http://style-hue.com

    • Amy Zhang says:

      I’m not the best either, the key is figuring out what your style is and finding a networking style that is right for you! Maybe big events aren’t your thing, but you’d benefit more from a curated, intimate gathering. Or just meeting up with someone 1:1 for coffee or lunch! As with everything, practice makes perfect. I’m still in the process of figuring out what’s right for me – although tbh I am not the biggest fan of networking! Have a wonderful weekend xx

  14. Dee says:

    What a gorgeous sherpa jacket, I just love everything about this look! And you’re so right about mentorship, it is so crucial to have a mentor whatever industry you are in. I wouldn’t be where I am at work without my awesome mentor!

    Dee
    http://www.urbanchicblvd.com/

  15. thehatlogic says:

    I definitely agree that we all need a mentor!! Sometimes they’re hard to find, but they’re great! I’ve got one and we’ve almost become friends through our chats! It’s great to have someone to push you along! I love it so much!
    Jordan x
    http://www.thehatlogic.com

  16. Chelsea says:

    Looking stunning and love this advice! It’s so important to have a mentor and someone to look up to!

    Chelsea
    Chow Down USA
    Instagram

  17. yuka says:

    I totally agree with what you are saying and I am so lucky to have friends that I also consider mentors. Oh and the biggest life mentors of all, my parents!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Friends and family are the best and give wonderful advice! I think having someone that can be honest, even when it may not be necessarily what you want to hear, is so important! xx

  18. Simona says:

    Aww you look so gorgeous dear! That jacket and sunglasses are my favorite!!! <3
    http://www.simimaus.blogspot.com

  19. DEMELER says:

    lovely post! Never considered having a mentor!
    xx
    http://thedemeler.com

  20. Such an inspiring post babe. Loved reading it.

    X Merel
    http://www.andathousandwords.com

  21. Paula Loreti says:

    Such an amazing post! I’ve never thought of a mentor but mainly because I am that type of person that thinks that can do everything on their own (which obviously, I can’t), so the points you make here where truly convincing. Love your outfit btw

    http://www.blossomikebana.com

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Thank you Paula!! I’m the same way, but I think we could all use a little help and a dash of brutal honesty, motivation, and inspiration from time to time ; ) xx

  22. You are absolutely correct – having a mentor in your life is so important. Sometimes you just need a sounding board with someone who has been there, done that and it helps to get another person’s perspective. Following up is key and I often forget to do that as well. I need to make it a better practice to continue following up and meeting new people even in blogging. I love your jacket and the sunnies and you always keep me motivated with your posts. xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Really could not agree more. Thanks for reading and for your continued support, Christine!! Hope your year is off to a wonderful start and hope to cross paths very soon! xx

  23. I totally agree- it’s not one of those things where you go up to the person and ask him/her to be your mentor. Things seem so much easier sometimes when you have that kind of person to lead you in the right direction 🙂
    http://www.samanthamariko.com

  24. Liz Nguyen says:

    I so agree with you. We all need mentors in our lives.

    Liz
    http://www.liznroad.com

  25. Hi Amy! I will be having my first ever job in the corporate world. One of my goals this year is to build a solid foundation for my career. To be honest, my only plan in succeeding to achieve this goal was to perform well and to try to stand out. You don’t know how much you helped me. Finding a mentor will be my first ever goal and I am sure that everything will fall into their proper places. Thank you so much!

    http://www.engineerxeph.com

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Hi Xeph! First, congrats on your new job!! That’s a tremendous accomplishment in itself. I’m actually planning some more posts on working in a corporate environment, but I’m glad this one was helpful! I think your plan is super solid – but finding a mentor, connecting with your coworkers and other young professionals, and taking initiative are some of the most important things to do in your first year!! Good luck, and lmk how things go!! xx

  26. Deal Man says:

    Love love love that jacket! Loving this dark color jeans.

  27. nat says:

    gorgeous outfit!

    My boss has actually been speaking to me about the benefits of a mentor. I really want to find one!
    x
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

  28. Amy Arnold says:

    I totally agree and really wish I had a mentor. I should more actively look for one. You look amazing! Loving the jacket.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  29. Super chic total look!
    http://www.treschic.fashion
    @mariajosegomezverdu

  30. Erin says:

    I completely agree that it is so important to have a mentor. Thanks so much for sharing! xx, Erin – http://www.stylebythepeople.com

  31. I love this blog post, and I totally agree that we all need a mentor in our lives. Especially with women, we need to have a strong female role model to help us guide us and give us advice on how to get to where we want and what’s required to achieve that success. Perfect blog post!
    S
    http://greycanvas.ca/

  32. Kelsey Bang says:

    great jacket! you look super chic!

    kelseybang.com

  33. This is such a great post babe, I totally agree! Having a mentor to give you guidance and advice can be such a blessing!

    Pose & Repeat

  34. Never had a mentor but I agree that it can be so important to have one. Such a lovely outfit!

    Ann-Marie | http://facetocurls.com

    • Amy Zhang says:

      Thanks for reading, Ann-Marie!! I’m sure you’ve had people in your life that have unofficially played that role for you : ) hope your week is off to a great start!! xx

  35. Anak Super says:

    love your jacket, great look

    lot of smile,
    Anak Super
    https://diaryanaksuper.blogspot.co.id

  36. Jenn Hanft says:

    This was such a thoughtful post! Having a mentor or even someone to look up to is definitely important! I also work a corporate 9 to 5 so it’s easy to kind of feel lost. Finding someone to guide you is the best! And even if you have the opportunity to guide someone else. Meeting people and networking certainly plays a huge role!

    XO Jenn
    http://www.jennsemble.com

  37. miri says:

    I never had a mentor but after reading your article, I think I will get one! On another note, I love your jacket and those booties! You look stunning!
    Hugs,
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  38. Nikki says:

    Love those sunnies!!! I remember reading Lean In years ago and I still keep it on my nightstand for a quick refresher to see how I’m doing. Great post, Xx

    Nikki | http://www.nikkibstyles.com/all-posts/riviera-maya-mexico

  39. Irina says:

    The post is great! I love your blog:)

    irinathayer.com

  40. Such good advice and I love your pictures 🙂 xx

  41. Great advice! And the outfit is so on point too!
    xo, Jane
    http://www.fitfabfunmom.com

  42. I love your blog! Your words are so lovely and your style is fantastic! I love this look so much!! =)

    Reagan

    http://www.reaganinmyownworld.com

  43. Annessa says:

    Great post! Having a mentor is great – it’s so helpful to get advice from someone who has been there. Love your outfit too!

    Annessa
    http://www.seekingsunshine.com

  44. myyalia says:

    Wow. This outfit is the perfect!! I need this in my closet!! I love that jacket!!

  45. Retika says:

    Love the entire outfit.And all photograph are so Amazing.thanks for sharing such a inspiring post.

  46. […] in people who care about you and your personal growth. Having a mentor in career and life is so incredibly important when it comes to stay laser focused on a goal, […]

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