Career Corner: The Benefits of a Business Mentor

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You’ve invested in your career within Governance, Risk & Compliance. Maybe you’re in your second or third position within your specialism and you’ve built up a good bank of technical skills and knowledge, but you’re not sure where to go next. This is the ideal time to find a Business Mentor.

Not to be confused with a coach or a consultant, a Business Mentor is someone who works with a mentee on their personal development, utilising their lived experience, industry expertise and professional network to aid the mentee’s career. A good mentor will help you to fully develop to the maximum potential within your current role and set you up for your next move up the career ladder. Your mentor will be the first person you go to when you need to discuss a difficult decision facing you in the workplace – whether they’ve been in a similar situation earlier in their career and can tell you how the choice they made played out, or if they simply act as a confidential sounding board, having that resource immediately makes those daunting fork-in-the-road moments in your job easier to navigate.

Every industry has its own unwritten rules and accepted ways of doing things, and a Mentor with good knowledge of Governance, Risk & Compliance and the wider worlds of Financial Services & Banking will be an invaluable resource in navigating the business. If you have an issue involving your direct superior, or staff in your business who are more senior than you, or perhaps a fundamental issue with the work environment, you can take that problem to an experienced Mentor to get an informed second perspective on the problem and how to approach it, before you initiate a difficult meeting in the office.

Now that you understand just a few of the benefits of a Business Mentor, you need to find the right one for you. Attending industry events and building your network is the best starting point here – even if someone isn’t in a position to be your dedicated mentor, there will be things you can learn from every GRC professional who you meet. Look out on LinkedIn for dedicated networking events in your city but also relevant conferences or one-off talks and speeches on Governance, Risk and Compliance topics. If you already have a person in mind, someone in your field who you admire, reach out to them via e-mail or social media – it may well be that they don’t have the time to take on a one on one mentee but they might be able to direct you to one of their peers who can.

However it is you find this person, you should try to get to know them a little, make sure you have compatible ideas and communication styles and are a good fit before you put the word “mentor” out there and propose regular meetings or similar. It helps to have a clear idea of what career goals you’re looking to achieve, and to put these goals to your mentor with a timeframe – it’s much easier to advise somebody on specifics than to just say you want to “be better” at your job or “advance your career” in vague terms.

There’s a tendency to view successful people in business as “self-made” but in reality, almost nobody reaches great success without the help and advice of others, and finding a trusted Business Mentor within your industry is a great way to make sure you have someone you can rely on in your corner.