This post originally appeared on the blog MakingManhattan.com.
By Emilie Moy
Whether you have a few jobs under your belt or you’re about to start your first full-time gig, your mentor is a vital resource when you’re getting started in the real world. There’s no doubt you’ll have a million questions when you’re first starting out, and your parents and friends won’t have all the answers. This is where your mentor comes in. We’ve rounded up a few of the best questions to ask when you need from friendly advice.
How did you find your first job? Searching for a job as a fresh-out-of-college grad is far from easy and each industry has a different process. It’s helpful for you to hear from those who’ve been through it and who can steer you in the right direction.
How did you build your career? It can be tempting to focus heavily on the now when you first get your foot in the door. But it’s just as important to plan ahead and start thinking about your five, 10, even 15-year plan. Ultimately, your goals will expand past your first job, and learning more about what opportunities could come your way in the long-term can help you plot your career path.
How long did you stay at your first job and why did you leave? Many people expert their first job to be a “dream job,” but more often than not, your first job won’t be perfect and might not be the thing you’re doing five years from now. Because careers can veer in so many different directions, it’s valuable to talk to someone with similar interests about their first full time position and learn about how their path has lead them to where they are now.
Who was your mentor when you first got started? Mentors have mentors that helped them out too when they were first making it in the real world, too. Learn about the advice they were given and the things that have stuck with them throughout their career.
What role did your college resources play at the beginning of your career? If your mentor went to your alma mater, they could have valuable tips on leveraging contacts at your career services center to make real-world connections. Depending on the industry you’re interested in, your college will play a different role in helping your job search so it’s important to know which resources are best to tap into.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director ofMakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.