How to make it: Why having the right role model is essential for 21st century career success
Updated: Aug 28
The modern world is filled to the brim with information. A simple Google search, done in less than 0.5 seconds, presents one with a staggering 66 million answers to the question: how do I accelerate my career? It’s simply tough to know where to start.
In the Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains that the human brain is not designed for this overbearing abundance of options. The difficulty in it, he explains, is that it often comes with intense anxiety and stress, as we try to make the right choice amidst the myriad of opportunities being offered. In other words, the more options to pick from, the more time and consideration involved in trying to make the right decision.
That's exactly why we've developed the kind of approach to career growth that bypasses all the empty talks and is sure to bring in results. How? By going directly to the source and asking seasoned experts & leaders across industries how they made it.
How this applies to you and your career progression
With extreme amounts of information available, some of us are finding it harder than ever to navigate getting answers for our careers. From miracle career solutions and guru-entrepreneurs sold to us by the internet; to copious amounts of online courses or books; the sheer number of options is certainly enough to stop us on your tracks before we’ve even begun, and often also along the way.
This is not to mention the decision of where to place our money. If choices are unlimited when it comes to accelerating one’s career, but the size of our wallet may not match infinity, we may ponder the question of where our resources will be best spent.
It’s also worth noting that having more options, but no quality guidance in helping us reach conclusions, can also be affecting our fulfilment levels in our chosen fields. Research now suggests that a whopping 53% of workers may be unhappy at their current jobs. If we have more wealth of career choices and widespread information - why aren’t we happier at work?
Sifting through to find the right information
Information is magic, knowledge is power, etc etc - you’ve probably heard them all - but until you land on the golden nugget of information amongst the rubble, it’s easy to feel like confused.com when it comes to finding and keeping a successful and fulfilling career. Enter: finding the right role model.
As you probably know, humans start off our learning journey, from the moment when we are born, by modelling the behaviour of others. Observational learning is the term coined by psychology to describe the phenomenon of human children learning by mimicking the adults around them during our developmental years.
A study done by Yale university in North America has even found that our perception of reality and the objects within it may be shaped by our perception of how other humans interact with them. The level of influence exerted by role models in our learning experience is so profound that experts even surmise that their effects may even be converted to subconscious and automatic queues.
On the importance of finding the right role models
If the effect of role models is so intrinsic to our experience, it seems then that finding the right ones to help guide us is imperative.
The importance of having an adequate mentor has been highlighted in many instances, such as the involvement of girls and women in science. Studies now show that girls are more likely to enter and stay in a scientific career if they have successful female role models to look up to.
Ensuring access to the right role models for girls entering STEM has even proved a powerful antidote against usual roadblocks to their success in the field, such as the presence of negative stereotypes. Having dedicated mentors has even been found to give girls more confidence and make them less likely to believe in limiting notions such as females perform less aptly in maths tests than males, thus improving their test results.
Why mentoring programs?
Fortune 500 companies already know of the importance of a structured approach to mentoring for the success and satisfaction of their employees. In fact, nearly 71% of these types of corporations have an active mentoring program being offered to workers.
In contrast, only around a quarter of smaller companies offer this type of help. So, why hasn’t the rest of the world caught on to the importance of mentoring?
It’s hard to say. Maybe some people are just not aware of it; perhaps the 21st century-related crave for immediacy and the lure of get results quick schemes are too seductive to resist; or maybe people don’t know where to start when it comes to finding the right mentor.
Whatever it is, having access to role models has proven to be the missing ingredient to finding lasting fulfilment in our careers. However, mentoring can’t be a one-size-fits approach to have any results. In fact, having a prescribed model that doesn’t take into account people’s individuality and personal career aspirations and goals, can have a negative effect on employee’s morale, according to Forbes.
Finding the right fit when it comes to mentoring, as we have seen, is also of the utmost importance. Only when we find someone who is willing to give answers that are tailored to our own individual needs can we partake in the research-backed benefits that we now know mentoring to afford, which include:
higher compensation and overall more satisfaction & commitment towards one’s career;
chances of promotion almost 5x higher;
significant increase in self-awareness and confidence;
improved goal-setting abilities and follow-through rates;
higher levels of employee engagement and retention within organisations
Finding the right role model and learning #howtomakeit
We know that not everyone works at a Fortune 500 company with a dedicated mentoring program, but we believe that this should not be an obstacle in enjoying all its benefits. One of our aims at the female factor is to make role models accessible for all ambitious women, across all industries.
Finding the right mentor on your own can be a really difficult task, one that involves a lot of energy and that can yield very little fruits for our efforts. By collaborating with experts from various fields over the years, we’ve developed different approaches that allow us to connect future female leaders with the right decision-makers and role models.
Our business and career mentoring program gives you access to over 150 international mentors with diverse backgrounds, ready to share real advice on #howtomakeit. By applying to our mentoring program, you get the chance to be paired up with one of our 150+ experts supporting you on your professional journey.
We know it’s easy getting lost amongst the 66 million bits of information about what it takes to make it, so don't hesitate in taking the opportunity to cut through the noise and get ahead. Take the opportunity to ask all your burning questions and get answers that really push you ahead by applying for your limited free spot here.