When people are asked where they can find their ideal mentor, their answers would most likely be “within my industry”. And it makes sense because you get to learn the ins and outs of your chosen field. But there are instances wherein finding a mentor outside of your industry can benefit you in ways you’ve never imagined.
The truth is that not all the skills you need to be successful are limited to the industry you’re working in. Finding a mentor who can work with you on time management, goal setting, communication skills, and leadership can prove advantageous despite your non-industry relations.
In this article, we’ll be discussing a couple of reasons why choosing a mentor outside of your industry can help you grow both as an individual and as a professional.
You gain valuable insight
When you work in an industry bubble, you tend to focus solely on what’s happening inside of it. You rarely pay attention to what’s going on in other industries because it doesn’t appear to benefit you. But that couldn’t be further from the truth as you can gain valuable insight when you work with a mentor outside of your field.
By being aware of other professions and the unique challenges they face, you’ll get an idea of how different careers overlap in terms of knowledge and skill set. Since your mentor comes from a different background, they can teach you how to address a particular issue using the right set of skills.
For example, say you have a journalist friend who wants to write an article about healthcare. Unsurprisingly, his mentor works as a doctor to which he consulted regarding his writing. The doctor had an interesting view of how to cover the story and influenced his article, thus resulting in a more concise and accurate product.
Such insights can help you navigate through problems that typically don’t show up within your field. And who knows, you may end up finding that industry appealing and help increase your potential knowledge as well.
You learn transferable skills
This is perhaps one of the main advantages of working with a mentor from a different field. Some skills are transferable from one industry to another, allowing you to become more proficient with your work. One example is a dentist whose mentor is a successful manager. The latter provides pointers on how the dentist can better handle annoying/angry patients and work more effectively with them. This results in a more successful
Let’s say you’re a team leader in a local bank and your mentor is a managing director in a tech company. While the similarities between your industries are few and far between, the management roles are quite similar.
Your business mentor can teach you how to better manage your staff members, take on a more active leadership role, and create a stronger influence within your company so that you can build a culture of professionalism.
You expand your professional network significantly
As the saying goes, “your network is your net worth”. This holds true regardless of which industry you’re in. When you work with a mentor, you get an opportunity to meet new people. People that are successful in their relative fields and people who have a vast network of connections.
Networking is great for exchanging ideas, learning new things, and discovering a variety of methods and techniques that made businesses successful. Individuals that seek publicity for their business leverage the power of networking to its fullest. People quickly notice others that have stronger capabilities to make them relevant.
When you stand out in both your expertise and the services you offer, it creates room for a partnership which in turn builds a career. Many professionals have been able to understand how to nurture their networking strength and create more visibility for different associates and clients in their career path.