Onegai shimasu (おねがい します) 🙇
Just because you finished schooling does not mean you're totally prepared for the industry of your choice. You may have the chops to get your first job, however that will not be enough for the future. Everyone needs a mentor. Someone they can connect with on a deeper level than just pro work. Someone who can continue to teach things you didn't learn in school. Someone who can connect with you as a person. Maybe even become the wiser friend.
A mentor will be of your industry, have a few years of experience on you, and know the ropes better than you. A good mentor will look out for your best interest, especially of its something you really don't want to hear because of your stubbornness. A good mentor will play the Devil's Advocate and be your champion at the same time. Remember that even your mentors will have had mentors (may not be a bad idea to know them as well, if possible). The more you are able to garner knowledge from your mentor(s) the clearer the road a head will be for you because they may have already traveled that same rode and, perhaps, can guide you so you can avoid the pitfalls they may ran into.
"Where do I find one?" you ask. I can't tell you because it's different for everyone. Sometimes you may find one at school, a social group, or even at the job you go to. And if you have more than one it may be at different times.
I had 2 industry mentors that I found on the job at different points of my career. One who taught me how to deconstruct projects into smaller manageable parts. Another who taught me organization and to be deliberate in my work and how to refine my natural instinct for find, groom, and lead the next generation of excellent artists.
My life would be so very different now without them and I have no idea where I would be right now. They have helped me unlock potential in me that I had no idea was there. I say "had" mentors because I now understand that they see me as their equal and we are friends. One day my proteges will be my equal. I look forward to that day 😁
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