Let’s be honest, finding a mentor in the travel industry can feel daunting, and most of the time, you might not even know where to start. Do you ask someone to mentor you? Or is it more organic; where someone you aspire to learn from just naturally takes you under their wing?

It’s a bit of both really, and sometimes companies will even set up specific programs to match you with a mentor to help develop you in your role.

You might be wondering what the benefits of mentorships are and like a lot of people, you might not even realise you need it. The thing is, when you find a suitable mentor, you won’t ever look back.

 

Why have a mentor?

According to a survey by Robert Half International, 94% of executives say that having a mentor is important for professionals who are starting out. In fact, having a mentor is incredibly common. Ask any successful person or entrepreneur and you’ll find that a lot of them have had a mentor guiding them throughout their career.

Oprah Winfrey? She was mentored by Maya Angelou. Mark Zuckerberg? He was mentored by Steve Jobs. Richard Branson? He was mentored by Sir Freddie Laker. And the list goes on…

As you can imagine, a mentor can teach you a lot, and especially the importance of perspective. Whether your relationship is for a set-period or indefinite, mentorship is extremely valuable to your personal development and career, and having someone who believes in you is a powerful tool to help you succeed.

 

What does a mentor help you with?

A mentor is able to help you with any goals you set for yourself at work, but it’s important to define what you need help with.

Do you want blunt feedback about your performance? Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you want to develop into a leader? Do you want advice on how to handle a situation in the workplace? If you have a reasonable, defined goal, then a mentor can help you work towards it.

 

Finding the right mentor

First things first. Find someone that you admire; someone who has a role you’d like to work towards or someone who thinks about things differently. You don’t have to be mentored by someone who’s a VP or in the C-level suite either, the point is to find someone who you admire professionally.

It’s okay to find a mentor outside of where you work, because mentors from different industries and networks can still be beneficial to your professional development. However, there are many companies who understand the value of mentorship in the travel industry for example, Flight Centre Travel Group.

“We offer our people access to a range of mentor programs from the moment they join Flight Centre Travel Group and all throughout their career. In addition, being a global company with close to 20,000 employees, our people bring various experience and expertise, therefore the informal mentee / mentor relationships are invaluable”.

Carole Cooper, Peopleworks Global Head

They do this through offering mentoring programs for staff with the aim of encouraging and advancing knowledge and experience. It’s all done to help employees grow and succeed.

Working within a company that encourages mentorship is a win-win. Not only are employees given the chance to develop, but companies also reap the benefits by making their people more successful and gratified in their roles.

There’s a reason why over 70% of Fortune 500 companies now offer mentoring programs – simply because employees and businesses are better with them than without them.

 

Don’t be shy to ask

Ask your company if they have a mentorship program in place or approach someone you admire. While approaching someone you look up to can feel odd, the reality is that being asked to mentor someone is incredibly flattering. In fact, you’d be surprised how willing people are to offer their knowledge and advice to help you grow.

 

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Looking for a company that offers mentorship? Check out these roles.