BYOB: The Motto of Every Smart Professional
I’m sure you’ve all heard over and over again how important it is for professionals to have a mentor in their career. I’m not knocking that, but I think it takes more than a mentor. Your mentor might be a leader at your company or the person who’s training you. Or it could be someone outside your company whom you aspire to be like, either professionally or socially.
Here’s one thing I do know: If you want to get the most out of your career, you have to Build Your Own Board.
Every big company needs a board of directors – why should you be any different? You should have a board of people with different backgrounds and beliefs that can give you the wisdom you need to achieve your goals. This board can include your spouse, your current or former supervisors, friends from college, peers in your industry, and just about any other person in your life. Having a personal board of directors will give you well-rounded perception without bias.
So, who should be on your board? This part is up to you. Here are the people on mine:
My wife, my best friend. She is and always will be the first person I turn to. However, she tends to be on my side, which is why I need more sources.
My supervisors. This includes both my current and my former bosses. They have the leadership background to help me through any decision process I am faced with.
My peers. These are the people at my company who know my job better than anyone else, and can offer informed counsel.
Friends outside of work. This includes childhood friends, fraternity brothers, neighbors, and everyone in between. They all have different careers and see things from various points of view. They help me recognize every angle of situations and can share their opinions candidly.
Don’t stop with a mentor. And don’t be afraid to reach out to people. They will most likely be flattered that you’ve come to them for advice. Build your own board to give you the guidance you need – and the rewarding career that you deserve.