The following is an excerpt from an article originally published on LinkedIn, where LS&Co. leaders periodically share their perspectives and expertise on business trends, industry issues, careers and the workplace. Have thoughts or reactions to this piece? Head on over to LinkedIn to share them.
People consistently ask me about the importance of making female alliances and mentorships in the workplace. But to be honest with you, I don’t think this is a gender issue. No matter what your situation, demographic, or background, nothingbut good can come from putting yourself out there and reaching out to the people you admire for a little professional insight and guidance.
In my experience, rather than primarily focusing on the next salary increase or promotion, the one surefire thing that will actually help you get to where you want to be in business is finding a great work mentor. Why? Because great mentorship is the result of taking the initiative to find the right guide and then fostering that relationship over time.
Throughout my career, mentorship stands out as one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had. That’s because the act of mentorship is crucial to learning the ropes and getting ahead in business, but it’s also integral to developing invaluable personal skillsets, forging key workplace relationships, and gaining a more comprehensive overview on the way the business world works.
Sure there were a number of different employers over the course of my career, but mentors remained consistent in their encouragement to stretch myself, and they’ve helped guide me through workplace challenges.
I’ll never forget my very first mentor, a former president of Nike. His guidance had a profound effect on me—it’s the reason I think mentorship is absolutely necessary at work. He gave me great advice that I carry to this day and actively pass on to people seeking the same guidance I wanted when I was just starting out in my career.
To read the rest of Anne’s post on the value of mentorship head over to LinkedIn.