I recently reached out to Nadine Dumas, a former accountant who later became a swimsuit model and fitness expert. As someone who's career took such a sharp turn, she knows the importance of mentors firsthand.
Dumas is a self-made entrepreneur whose work involves providing online nutrition and training programs. She's passionate about helping others and she's expanding her programs all over the world.
Dumas says these are the five types of mentors who could skyrocket your career:
1. The established professional
Look for someone in your career who is ahead of you, like a former boss who believed in you before you believed in yourself. "I find that an established colleague has a lot of compassion, because they have 'been there and done that' already and almost see themselves in you," says Dumas.
A mentor who knows the ropes can guide you with their knowledge and teach you how to avoid making the same mistakes they did.
2. The lateral colleague
Find a colleague who is in the similar phase of growth. You can bounce ideas off one another and compare stories. "I find these types of mentors need to be mentally strong and not walk into this 'relationship' fearing you are going to take their ideas," Dumas says.
When you trust and support one each other, you can push each other and question ideas while also understanding what each other is going through.
3. The outspoken individual
Team up with someone who isn't afraid to offer a pessimistic perspective. This person can remind you of the challenges and worst-case scenarios you might be tempted to overlook when you're really excited.
"They give blunt feedback," says Dumas and sometimes you might need to listen to those things you don't always want to hear.
4. The friend who knew you before you took the leap
Spending time with people who knew you before you ever launched your entrepreneurial adventure can remind you of how far you've come. In talking about her own mentor, Dumas says, "They are not interested in my entrepreneurial skills. We meet up and talk about everything besides my coaching."
This type of mentor can remind you there's a life outside of work. Regular conversations can remind you to separate what you do from who you are.
5. The liaison
Collaborating with a liaison mentor is the key to connecting with valuable people who can help you grow your network. But your relationship shouldn't be about asking for introductions.
"I find that you must be authentic for these relationships to work and it requires a lot of time to build these relationships," says Dumas. You must take time to show them that you offer value to your industry.