The Importance of a Professional Mentor and the Four Letter Word Networking

Can you tell when someone is befriending you?  I can, and it’s a great feeling.  Establishing  mentor relationships are the same way.  Matter of fact, the mentor/mentee roles often times cross the lines over into friendship.  This is a necessary relationship for everyone in any profession.  You might not have to reach out to a mentor, they may take it upon themselves to be your mentor.  You have to keep your ears and eyes open and listen out for any opportunity.  You never know what type of mentor will be able to help you progress through your career.

Often times, we can find mentors through the internet.  Your mentor doesn’t even have to know you exist, but you need to have a team of them.

It’s American Pharmacists Month, so I am talking about my pharmacy mentors.  However, I have additional mentors in the areas of Group fitness instructor, blogging, and real estate investing.   I have to mention that mentors are not just important professionally.  I, like most of you, probably have mentors for church, family, and life in general.  I can’t get enough of talking about mentors.  Nobody starts out any adventure knowing it all.  Where would we all be without a little help along the way!

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Qualities I Adore in a Mentor 

  • They help you create mind maps toward your goals in the profession.
  • They offer unsolicited advice when you may not want to hear it.
  • They text/call you with important professional reminders.
  • They show support and interest in other areas of your life than just the profession.
  • They invite you to events that you may not even know you could benefit from.
  • They make sure that you are performing at top quality within the profession.
  • They call you on your B.S.!
  • They help you through professional bad times.
  • They provide you with references.
  • They will give you a job if they are able and make you aware of job opportunities.
  • They will share study materials with you.
  • They will show you the tricks of the trade.

 

Mentor By Default 

Some people become a mentor by default.  What do I mean by that?  Well if you are on a new job or starting a career, you will have questions.  If you go to the same person repeatedly for that advice, they are your mentor wether they want to be or not.

I have one of those who I seriously don’t think had a problem with it.  When I started my career as a Pharmacist, I went right to work on the overnight shift.  I worked totally by myself.  When I had a question, I called Ted who worked overnight shift in the town next to me.  When I found myself in predicaments, he helped me solve them and offered advice for handling similar situations going forward.

Mentors Help You Make Important Decisions 

My very first pharmacy mentor, started before I ever applied for pharmacy school.  When I mentioned to her that I was interested in going to pharmacy school, she went on a rant about the profession.  After that, she stayed in touch and offered advice in every area of practice.  Whenever I’ve made decisions about the professions I’ve discussed them with her first. She even forces me to go to cultural things and participate in civic activities that have nothing to do with pharmacy.  The professional mentor relationship transferred over to my personal life and she is truly a friend and I love her to pieces.

 

It’s Equally Important to Be a Mentor

You will eventually be the veteran and will mentor by default or recognize opportunities through church/family/community to befriend and mentor others.   Consider it an honor and never a nuisance to give back in the same manner that was given to you.

You may also have people that work for you within your profession.  It is your duty to mentor them into a good support person.  One thing I can’t stand is for people to complain about an employee but not help them to do better.   Employees are only as good as their leader.  Be the example that you want them to be and coach them to perfection.

Vice versa because sometimes your subordinates have to teach you a thing or two.

Networking the FOUR letter Word 

For an introvert such as myself, that’s exactly what networking is, a curse word. The dreaded action that you just love to hate.  I mean seriously, if you want to see me get all up in a frenzy, tell me about a networking event.  They are the absolute worse.  Enough bashing on it.  You’ve got to do it. You need to be well connected in any profession.  It’s the American way.  Know someone, get an opportunity.  My advice, JUST DO IT!  You don’t have to do it frequently, but you should engage people in your profession.

I super depend on my network at my job.  They have saved me several times when I needed to be off and the company denied my requests.  Same holds true for blogging, being a fitness instructor, and real estate investing.  Those networks are vital to my progression.

Here is an old photo of the MWPA group. We had an event this past Sunday and had a financial advisor speak to us and sponsor our meeting.

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10 years later being a pharmacist, and I still take heed to participate here and there.

The most valued piece of advice from a mentor that I received and have shared many times with young people is “Assume Longevity”!  Young people worry about going to school for an extensive number of years or even the amount of time it takes to establish and grow a business.  If you assume that you will live to be 80, what difference  does a decade make in achieving your dreams! 

 

Yours in Healthy, Active, & Prosperous Lifestyles,

Rx Fitness Lady wants to know…

  • How many mentors come to mind after reading this post?
  • What is the most valued quality or piece of advice that was provided to you by a mentor?

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Rx Fitness Lady

Greetings, I'm Joi, a Pharmacist with a passion for fitness & a community leader. I teach BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Tabata Boot Camp, & serve as a mentor to young girls. My goal is to inspire people to live healthy, active, & prosperous lifestyles through practical blog posts deliveries. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. You can view more post and subscribe to stay tuned to latest updates at Rx Fitness Lady.

One thought on “The Importance of a Professional Mentor and the Four Letter Word Networking

  1. I really like the different types of things you discuss here, Joi!

    Your piece made me think about sojme of the best teachers I ever had and how they influenced my life. One in particular taught me much about being a doctor, what a good teacher is, my value as a professional, and how to eat catfish!

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