JobTalk Sweden

The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)

The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
The road to mentorship. Photo:Shutterstock.
Sometimes the key to advancing your Swedish career is latching onto a mentor. A career expert talks us through exactly what a mentor does, how you can get one for yourself, and why you might need one.
"Not everyone needs a mentor, but they are good support that can allow you to see things from a different perspective and to improve," Jorge Vasquez, the managing director at, told The Local.
"You can learn from someone who has been there before."
With this in mind, Vasquez talks us through the whole process. 
So Jorge, what exactly makes a good mentor?
A good mentor listens, asks questions, and shares their experiences. They give you insight into the work within their field. The mentor should be a good role model for you. You should feel inspired. 
But… how do I get one?
Just look around. Is there someone whom you respect for their professional experience and knowledge? When you choose a mentor you have to think first about what you have as a goal for the relationship, and from that you should choose what kind of mentor will match those expectations. 
And how can I be sure the mentor would be a good one?
A good mentor has three things: Broad life experience, strong social competence, and a strong knowledge within their own field.
They don't even need to have the same background as you. A lawyer can have a lot to learn from an economist, for example. In fact, a mentor doesn't even need to be actively employed. An older mentor can have a stronger social network and plenty more time for you. 
Photo: Shutterstock
So what is expected of me as a mentee?
You'll be the kind of person in need of support and a sounding board, and you'll see the mentor as an important part of your personal development. You should be curious, interested, and willing to learn from their experiences.
That sounds like me. Lastly, are there any other skills or requirements I need?
Plenty. Here are four quick tips on how you should be prepared:

– Be engaged – it's a two way street.

– Be goal-oriented – you have to know what you're aiming for. 

– Be willing to take advice – there's no point having a mentor if you won't listen. 

– And lastly, be able to take constructive criticism – you have to be ready to hear anything. 

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