A lot is written, and always has been, about mentors. Mentors during the job search are people that might be able to provide insight into a particular job, career, or your search in general. Although I think it’s a very good idea to seek opinions from many different people you respect – parents, senior relatives, family friends, or even people with whom you have interviewed – you need to be a little careful about taking these opinions as gospel.
Although these people will be sincerely interested in helping, their opinions are usually based on their own narrow experience. Their advice might be good, but it is just as likely to lack perspective. They will present their individual perspective as if it were a global truth. Many of these people will act like they know a lot about a certain company, job or career, but in reality, they do not.
Certainly consider everybody’s opinion, but make decisions based upon what you think. You are the one that has to live with your decisions, and do the job you accept on a daily basis.
It certainly is a good idea to have an idea of the salary range for positions in your field of endeavor, but only use these surveys as a guide. Don’t bother telling a prospective employer that you would like to make the salary you read about it in a salary survey. Hiring authorities don’t give a darn about salary surveys.
As you interview, you will get a good idea of the salary your skills and potential are worth. That is the real litmus test. None of us have any intrinsic value. Your “value” is based on the best offer you can get. A freshly minted accountant in Muskogee, Oklahoma will likely have a lower starting salary than one in New York City. Both people might be looking at the same salary survey, but what they’re likely to be paid will be quite different.
I recommend that you read current books related to the industry/profession you are seeking to join. After all, you are a student, aren’t you? Smart business people will expect you to be actively increasing your knowledge of your profession. In fact, this should become a habit of yours.
As well, you should be constantly reading or listening to self-help, mental/spiritual improvement books and CD’s. The world is a negative place, and our mental, spiritual, and even, “business” health should be supported by constant care and feeding.