By Tom Darrow ‘87

“Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

Most great leaders give credit to others who have helped them become great leaders. We’ve all heard that "it takes a village.” This is especially true with career management. It’s not on your company or boss to manage your career. It’s your responsibility to take the wheel. But, don’t drive alone! 

How do you grow as a leader and optimize your career? The best advice? Seek advice! Build a circle of trusted mentors, advisors, and coaches who will help you succeed through their insights, feedback, and holding you accountable.

A Circle of Trust

Mentors can be instrumental in professional development. Seek out multiple mentors who bring different perspectives that can help you learn and advance personally and professionally. Here’s a true story that illustrates the real impact mentoring can have:

Felicia worked at her company for 16 years and, over that time, her performance had slipped. Her supervisor was thinking it was inevitable that she would soon be transitioned out of the company. Felicia found a mentor through her professional association. Her performance improved and she stayed with the company and is flourishing. The boss was somewhat surprised at the turnaround and asked what had led to her advancement. She credited her mentor. The boss was so pleased and impressed that they reached out to the mentor to thank them.

Proactively secure several mentors in development areas for your career advancement.

Advisors are individuals with experience in the industry, profession, or organization of interest. These advisors often serve as sounding boards and share career pathing, skill-building, and important trends. Their experience accelerates your development.

Career Coaches are passionate, trained, and most often certified, in a methodology that supports you in reaching your goals. Unlike a mentor relationship, there is a cost to work with a certified coach. The great news: the investment is in YOU! 

IrishCompass and the Notre Dame Alumni Association career coaching program are your circles of success. They are great resources to connect you with mentors, advisors, and coaches. Go Irish!

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