Written By: Joanie Ogg CTC, MCC
If you already have one or two business mentors, you can answer this question in a millisecond. Sure, there are many people who have influenced our careers, but a mentor is that one person (or two in my case) who immediately come to mind and bring you a smile. Mentors help professionals grow.
Many people influence our careers and support and advise us. If we were to sit down and start a list of all of the people who we feel have influenced our business life, I suspect we would have a very long list. In fact, as I write this article I have made a plan to take a day next week to sit on the beach with my pad and pen and just start this list to see where it takes me. Certainly the exercise will bring back many memories.
If you do not have a mentor and want one, where do you start? Think about people you know or respect within the travel industry. This could be a fellow travel professional you admire or it might be a travel industry executive who you respect and want to know better. Think about people you know or respect within your professional field or industry, or just somebody that you think is interesting and open to sharing advice with you. Having a well-connected mentor keeping an eye out for you can open doors and accelerate the pace of your career.
Once you’ve identified a person or two, approach them to see if they would be open to chatting with you about your career. Keep it casual–don’t ask them to be your formal mentor. Ask for the opportunity to talk to them, work with them, meet occasionally for coffee, or whatever makes sense. Then be a sponge and soak in everything you can. Come prepared with things to talk about, and thank them for their time and advice. Finally, give back to your mentor as much as you take. A good mentor/men tee relationship is symbiotic, with each person feeling truly rewarded by the experience.
My mentors have passed this life but are with me everyday in my heart. My eternal thanks go to my father Robert H. Bensinger and my friend Joel Abel’s for guiding me through my life and career.