For anyone just starting out on their employment journey or building a career is an exciting prospect. We all imagine how it will go, we apply for the dream job, have an amazing interview, get selected and commence our career journey. But whether it’s a student just graduating, or an immigrant arriving in a new country, getting that dream start is never quite so simple.
To get a foothold in the employment market for a new career, it can often be beneficial to look beyond the dream job and find something less permanent, like an internship, or of a lower skill-set requirement. This can seem counterintuitive for this kind of advice is exactly why a mentor is so important when launching a career, sometimes what seems right is entirely the wrong approach. There are many ways a mentor can help ensure your career is long and prosperous, and each one is a reason to ensure you find the right mentor.
The hard choices
Sometimes when things aren’t quite working as you had hoped, it can be easy to fall into the trap of merely repeating the same mistakes over and over again, to convince yourself that the problem is the resume or cover letter and a minor tweak will solve it.
It can be difficult to recognise your limitations, especially when driven by excitement and enthusiasm, and accept that you may first need to gain experience, by taking on a lower-skilled job and work your way up, or an internship or other temporary position to gain that valuable experience. This is common when graduating, or arriving as an immigrant, when you don’t seem to get anywhere in the job market.
A mentor is invaluable in this situation, as they can provide an impartial insight that helps find the right path. They understand the employment market, and they know how new entrants can make themselves more employable.
A helping hand
But mentorship is more than simply telling us where we are going wrong, it is about constructive advice and guidance that helps us achieve our goals. A mentor who fully understands the Australian employment market can identify opportunities, explain why a lower skill job will benefit in the long run and help locate the job openings that open up new opportunities over time and help reach those goals.
While taking a lower-skilled job may seem like a backwards step, the right position can help build a relationship with an employer, gain experience in the Australian work environment, and open up new opportunities more representative of skills and qualifications held in the future. Sometimes, having a record of work attendance, the ability to build a network of contacts, and gaining a better understanding of employer expectations can be enough to transform career prospects in a relatively short time.
Finding the right path
For those arriving in Australia from other countries, the employment market can be a lonely one and hard to know where you went right or wrong. Sometimes, you just need someone who understands, listens and can give a second opinion. A mentor is there when you need them, not just with career advice, but to help when confidence is low, to see where you are doing well, and where you may need improvement.
With so many new experiences, from applying for positions, interview successes and failures, a mentor is there, an aid when you need them, making the experience easier to understand and deal with, and a guide to finding the perfect path for your career.