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How and Why Millennials Should Seek Career Mentors

Some of the Millennials I know are putting their career before love and relationships. I get it. Especially in a city like New York, I find so many Millennials that are incredibly driven and focused on crushing it in the business world. The entrepreneur mentality means that we become enveloped in our businesses because we need them to succeed. 

But all this means that the traditional saying of “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage” may take some turns along the way. Since establishing a career and being successful is high priority for Millennials, I want to share with you some advice of finding a mentor who can help you grow and then what to do when you reach the next step of becoming partner at a firm. (For more, see: Top 5 Most Common Personal Finance Goals for Millennials.)

Finding the Right Mentor

When looking for a mentor start by reading and networking in your field or a related one to meet people. Take time to find the right person.  Understand what you are looking for in a mentor. A mentor can help you set and reach specific goals. They are a great person to provide invaluable guidance and feedback and help grow your career. They are a sounding board to give objective advice. 

Once you establish the relationship, identify your goals and set times to meet to review where you are and what you want to accomplish. Don’t forget to show gratitude to your mentor. They are taking time out of their lives and careers to guide you. Thank them often but also know when it is time to end the mentorship because it either no longer works for you both or it has fulfilled its intended purpose. Having a mentor can be a great way to grow your career.

Transition to Partner

Congratulations! You worked with your mentor and are now being promoted to partner at your job. Whether it’s a private equity firm or a law firm, partnership often entitles you to a portion of the business profits in addition to salary. But it can also come with the obligation to put money into the firm, and in the case of private equity, invest in the deals. Having to outlay a large amount of money for the cash obligation can have an impact on your lifestyle if you haven’t planned in advance. Here are some helpful hints: (For more, see: How to Keep Millennials Motivated in the Workplace.)

  • Understand what your financial obligations are and what your budget looks like. Go back to the basics to prepare. 
  • Take time to think through your assets and determine where the large outlay of fund could come from. Get creative.
  • Acknowledge the challenges. Often this kind of promotion will coincide with other big points of your life such as wanting to buy a home.
  • Ask for help. A financial advisor can help you look at your finances and determine some options and develop a strategy that may have the least impact on your lifestyle.
  • Know you have a cash reserve. A cash reserve is intended for emergencies, but it can also be used for opportunities and a partnership would be that type of opportunity. If you do use your cash reserve, don’t forget to prioritize building it back up. 

If you think you might become partner, plan in advance so that you can take advantage of the great opportunity and won’t have to sacrifice too much to do it.

Crush It

Now that you know how to find a mentor and make the most of that relationships, get started. The sooner you start to grow your career, the sooner you may have the opportunity to make partner. Understand what that means for your industry and plan for when that door opens. Keep crushing it Millennials and the other great things will come in due time. (For more, see: Retirement Planning the Millennial Way.)