You always hear professionals that have been in their industry for 20+ years, reflect on their early stage mentors. Whether it be someone in your company, an advisor at your college or an inspirational figure in your life, mentors teach you a lot about navigating what can feel like treacherous waters.

Experience is immeasurable when you’re looking for a piece of advice. It’s comforting to find someone who previously stood in your shoes and made it through. There will be continuous moments in your career when you’ll feel lost. Either you won’t have an answer, or you won’t know which road to take and at that point, having a mentor provides a safe space to confide.

We all learn from our own mistakes but if we can learn from the mistakes of others and dodge making them, why not save ourselves the trouble?

Look for a mentor that is willing to share their failures openly. No one wants to bask in their previous mishaps, but there will be plenty of people you come across who aren’t too embarrassed to talk about the time they made the wrong decision. A mentor doesn’t need to be 10, 15 or 20 years older than you. They can be the same age with more experience than you because more years doesn’t necessarily add up to a wiser mindset.

Choose a mentor that provides authentic and empathetic guidance. They will be there when you have questions, failures and successes. Get yourself a “Career Mom” (or Dad!) and find a safe space for tough love when you need it or a pat on the back when you’ve deserved it.

—By PPR Staff