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10 Benefits Of Having A Great Life Mentor In Your Lifetime

10 Benefits Of Having A Great Life Mentor In Your Lifetime

Everyone needs at least one great life mentor in their lifetime. They’ll give you advice and inspiration that will completely change your future. They’ll give you easy shortcuts that will help you get on the right path again quickly. They’ll even be a role model and guide whom you can follow.

Life mentors are not only the professional ones we usually think of, like teachers and coaches, but also every day people in our lives. For example, some of your current mentors include your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues.

Life mentors can positively influence us and even change our long-term future. That one tip from an older cousin, or that one moment of inspiration from your friend can totally change your life’s direction by influencing your attitude, thoughts, beliefs, and behavior.

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Your life mentors are everywhere, if you’re only willing to see them. They are your siblings, significant others, grandparents, and acquaintances — to name a few. Keep your eyes open, otherwise you just might miss out on one of your greatest life mentors.

1.  They Will Support You After a Setback

Have you ever felt really down after a defeat, rejection, or failure? Your life mentor supports you when you’re feeling down. They listen to you, and remind you of the big successes you’ve already had in the past. They remind you that while you feel a little down right now, you’ve got to keep your head up, because you still have a bright future ahead of you.

2.  They Believe in You More Than You Do

I’ll never forget that moment when one of my own life mentors looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Believe in yourself.” He said it in a way that really hit me to the core. And at that moment, I realized that he believed in me more than I did! Your mentor knows what’s possible for you, because they can see your true potential. They believe in your because they know you’re capable of reaching your goals. Their belief will fuel your own inner self-belief.

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3.  They Can Give You Honest Feedback

It’s easy to delude and deceive ourselves, and it’s tremendously beneficial to have someone else to be a real mirror in your life. Your life mentors show you who you really are, so that you can see your weaknesses and work on them. They’ll show you where you need to improve, especially when you’re not fully aware of it yet. They won’t sugar-coat it for you, but they also won’t hurt you in the process either.

4.  They Help Clarify Your Situation

When you’re feeling lost or confused, it’s sometimes really hard to define your situation when you’re thinking about it on your own. Getting out outside of your head, and seeing your situation through your mentor’s eyes will help you to get clear on where you are now, how you got here, and where you want to go. When you feel lost, you only need to get clear on where you are now and where you want to go.

5.  They Motivate and Inspire You to Take Action

When you’re making excuses or afraid to move forward, your life mentor realizes this and alerts you. They don’t buy into your unsubstantiated excuses the same way that you do. And they have faced the fear that you’re struggling with right now, so they can help you get past it and move forward. After all, they’ve done this before and they’ve “got your back”. Let their past successes motivate you to move forward.

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6.  They Give You the Map and Guide You

When you’re feeling lost and you don’t know where you’re going, it’s really refreshing when someone else can help navigate you. When your mentor shows you the path that you need to go down, it makes continuing your journey so much easier. They know where you want to go and how to help direct you there. You just need to trust that they can offer some advice to help guide you.

7.  They Teach You From Their Experience

You can leverage and draw upon your guide’s experience and wisdom from their own journeys, which are much like your own. Why limit yourself to your narrow experience when you can learn from your mentor’s wealth of knowledge? Learn from your mentor about when they were in your shoes and what they did to move themselves forward.

8.  They Will Ask You Powerful Questions

Allow your mentor to coach you by asking you the biggest questions you really need to sit with. Sometimes when they ask you that question — that only you can figure out for yourself — that’s when you’ll make the biggest leap. Your mentor’s curiosity has the same power as a life coach — to let you listen to your heart. What does your intuition say? Your life mentor will help you to hear it.

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9.  They Are Your Role Model

Your mentor shows you that it was really possible for them and that they achieved it. And that means that you can achieve the same thing too. Arnold Schwarzenegger followed Reg Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. followed Ghandi. Your mentor is someone that you can model and copy. They are a living, breathing blueprint for you to imitate for your own needs. Thankfully, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but you can follow in their footsteps.

10.  They Give you the Tools You Need to Reach Your Goals

Your mentor has the technical know-how and experience that you can draw upon. Especially if you’re working within a very niched field, some of your co-workers, your bosses, and others in your industry can help you to learn the technical knowledge that you need to reach your goals. Tap into their technical knowledge by asking them direct questions.  Learn from what they already know so you can apply it in your endeavors.

Featured photo credit: Bryan Campbell via flickr.com

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Tom Casano

Motivator

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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