Mentors are invaluable when you’re working in a creative field. Having a seasoned professional in your life will help you learn about the industry, develop your craft, and enhance your career. They will give you constructive criticism when you are struggling, motivation when you are losing hope, and advice when you feel like you can’t quite get your finished product right.
Here are a few indispensable ways a mentor will help you create work you are proud to call your own:
1. A mentor will critique your work. They will be able to catch your mistakes and guide you on how to fix them. They will offer you constructive criticism. They will push you to do your best work. Since you trust their judgement, you won’t discredit the changes they encourage you to make. You will take their advice seriously and adjust your work accordingly.
2. A mentor will give you a new perspective. They have been working in your field for a long time. They have years of experience. That means they can offer you valuable knowledge you cannot get anywhere else. They will be able to help you view your work with a new perspective. Whenever you get stuck in a creative rut, you can look to them for help. They will be able to get you back on track.
3. A mentor will give you advice on which direction to head. Working in a creative field can be confusing. It’s hard to decide whether you should accept a steady, reliable paycheck or take a risk working on your own. However, your mentor can give you advice on which path to take. They can list out the pros and cons of each option so you don’t end up regretting your decision.
4. A mentor will advise you against making the same mistakes they’ve made. Your mentor might be successful, but they aren’t perfect. They have made their fair share of mistakes. Those mistakes have shaped them into a better artist. Fortunately, since you have them around, you won’t have to waste time making the same mistakes they made. You can listen to their warnings. You can avoid falling into the same traps.
5. A mentor can help you network. Your mentor might be able to introduce you to other big names in the field. They might be able to help you find work when you are struggling to make a profit from your passion. Even if they are unable to set up meetings for you, they can vouch for you when you apply for jobs. They can be one of your top references.
6. A mentor will answer any questions you have about your career. The internet doesn’t always have all the answers. Whether you are struggling to figure out how to settle a dispute with a client or how to file your taxes as a freelancer, you can turn to them for help. You can rely on them to fix your problems — or at least to point you toward the right resources to work out your problems on your own.
7. A mentor will encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up. You aren’t going to reach success overnight. There are going to be moments when you worry you aren’t talented enough to make a living doing what you love. There are going to be days when you come close to giving up. However, when you’re worried your dreams are unreachable, you can look at your mentor for guidance. They are living, breathing proof you can succeed in your field. They will remind you to keep going, to never give up on yourself.