High School Students Benefit From Strong Mentors In Their Career Prep & Development Pathways
By Tyng Kam, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Mentoring is a long-term relationship between a more experienced individual (the mentor), who offers career guidance, to a less experienced individual (the mentee). A mentor can serve as a sounding board to the mentee, provide insights into the industry or professions of their background, and introduce relevant industry contacts. All of these aspects of mentorship can provide benefits to high school students, as they prepare for the next steps of college and/or career.
How can you benefit from working with a mentor?
As a high school student, you can gain insights into an industry and profession from an experienced professional. Consider building a network of diverse mentors—people who come from a different age group, culture, and professional backgrounds—because a single mentor might not provide all of the support you need. Many people find having more than one mentor to be highly productive. Step-ahead mentors (those only slightly ahead of you in school or work) might provide better social support for challenges, while more seasoned professionals are better at providing greater career support.
What is the difference between working with a mentor and working with a coach?
People often confuse mentoring and coaching. They are different relationships suited to many and varied purposes. Coaching typically is a short-term relationship between two people. A coach offers solution-based guidance, to help strengthen or eliminate specific behaviors. They provide immediate improvements to target areas of personal and professional development with the client. Mentorship is a longer relationship that is mutually beneficial. The mentor offers high-level guidance for the mentee’s long-term growth, and the mentee offers the mentor a platform to hone their teaching and support skills, in return.
How do you find a mentor?
The first step to finding a mentor is defining your college and/or career direction. This can be a general direction, like choosing to focus on careers in healthcare services, digital marketing, web design, or education. Consider your probable career path and then try to narrow it down, as best you can, so you can identify your role models within your current friends and family network. Someone who knows you well can give you advice on professions that fit your personality and natural abilities. Instead of asking someone to become your mentor, get to know them first and learn about their work, offer to help them as you can. And, as you naturally develop a relationship, you can then ask your mentor for advice about specific issues.
For more reading about what Success Coaching can do for you, check out How Teens Benefit From Success Coaching.
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career prep advice.
And, check out the article on How To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Career Fair, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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