Have you ever approached a crossroads in your career and weren’t sure which path to take next? Or maybe you were struggling—with no luck—to gain more confidence and visibility in your job. If you were fortunate enough to have a mentor at these critical junctures, there’s a good chance you gained valuable insights into the best solutions and smartest next steps. In fact, 75% of executives in a poll by the Association for Talent Development said that a mentor had been critical in helping them ascend to their current position.
Mentoring includes imparting wisdom that the mentor has gained through a lifetime of business and personal experience. We reached out to members on LinkedIn and asked them to share some of the best advice they’d received from mentors throughout their careers. Here’s what they had to say:
- Approach life with an unwavering set of core values. Integrity is the most important. -- David Almonte, CPA, CGMA
- It’s okay to tell a client, “I don’t know. I’ll figure out the answer and get back to you.” -- Ralph T. Shinn, CPA
- There’s always going to be an excuse not to do something, whether it’s work, family, school. If you want to make real change, then you have to take a risk. -- Eric Butts, CPA
- Don’t look for a job. Look for a customer for your services. -- Tom Quinn, CPA
- Tell the financial and operations story, not just the numbers. -- Lucinda Coffman, CPA
- As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Failure is the key to learning and learning is the key to success. -- David Almonte, CPA, CGMA
- Sometimes you have to say “no,” particularly when your to-do list might limit your effectiveness. -- Richard Jones, CPA
If you don’t have one yet, you’ll find that a mentor has similar insights to offer, as well as specific ideas that suit your unique needs. The AICPA is piloting an Online Mentoring Program, a simple-to-use tool available for free to AICPA members. The program connects mentors and mentees with similar interests and fosters relationships entirely online. The initial questionnaire to match mentees and mentors takes less than five minutes to complete. The program also offers a wealth of resources including the Share. Learn. Grow. Mentor guide and the Firm in Motion A PCPS Toolkit: Mentoring Guide. The ultimate goal is to enable participants to fully benefit from the mentoring experience. Find out what mentoring, and this valuable new resource, can do for you. First-time users should use the passcode aicpa2016 to sign up.