If you’re wondering ‘why should I get a mentor’, we have got numerous reasons why you should consider getting one down below. Find out how mentors can boost your adaptability, job skills, self-worth and salary. Additionally, how a friend at work can have your back to sign your praises when it comes to promotions and help you navigate office politics. More than that, you will find the unexpected benefits of mentors and how you will feel happier – both in your personal life and at work. They will help you to respect your colleagues more, become a better team player and help you gain self-awareness. In summary, they will help you build your character.
- By Providing You With the Chance to Work with a Role Model
If you feel as though you know the kind of role you are looking for, having a mentor who is either already working in that area or who has been in that position previously could be incredibly useful to help you get there. They will quickly comprehend the career challenges you will face and may well have direct experience of the same sort of obstacles themselves. They are also in the ideal position to help figure out what the most vital skills are to take you where you want to go, and how you can develop them. A role model mentor could additionally be an excellent way to get specific support on a more short-term basis, such as the transition to a new job or a project which stretches your skills.
- By Enabling You to Focus and Understand What You Want
People who know what they want to do are not the only ones who can benefit from a mentor. It is simple to get stuck climbing the ladder you are on when you do not really want or feel you do not know what your next move is. A good mentor will have your best interests in mind, and will help you to reflect on the kind of work you enjoy and what you are good at. They can also help you to create a plan to get more of the things you enjoy into your work life, they keep you on track and give you the confidence to make changes.
- By Allowing You to Benefit From Someone Else’s Successes and Mistakes
We all know how important it is to learn from our mistakes, however, what if those mistakes do not have to be your own? You could save yourself a ton of pain and time here. Your mentor will give you the benefit of their own personal experiences when they have faced up to similar challenges, sharing what did not work and what did. More importantly, they are likely to have reflected on why they got the outcome they did and rather than just giving you a formula to follow, they can make suggestions about what you should consider when you plan your own approach.
- By Holding You Accountable
There is no easier promise to break than ones we make to ourselves – just think about the history of broken New Year’s resolutions for proof. Make those commitments to somebody else though, and the incentive to follow through on what you say becomes a lot greater. Even if you are the kind of person who makes a point of always seeing the tasks you set yourself through, your mentor could challenge you to set your standards much higher and to stretch yourself.
- By Giving You Positive Feedback and Constructive Criticism
It is not always simple to get an accurate beat on how well you are handling the challenges that you face at work when you are in the middle of it. Perhaps your feelings of discomfort are making it seem as though everything is going wrong. Alternatively, maybe you have a blindspot as to how you are affecting those around you, or there is an angle you have not considered yet. A mentor should be objective, honest and far enough from the situation to both recognise where you can improve and help you see the things you are doing well. They may be able to view your problems from a different perspective, and help you to widen your own so that you can come up with greater solutions.
How to Pick a Mentor?
Hopefully you now have a clearer image of how mentoring could help you to get more out of your career and move forward. If you have decided to give mentoring a go, here are three things to keep in mind when picking the right person.
- Trust is Essential
Your mentoring meetings must be a safe place where you can be transparent about the challenges you are facing. You will need to know you can trust your mentor so that you can be open about the things that concern you, while knowing that your conversations are confidential. This is number one for a reason: think of it as the foundation for a good mentoring relationship.
- Choose Someone You Admire
A mentor must be someone whose talent and advice you respect. Even if they may not be a direct role model, they should ideally be someone who inspires you to improve and demonstrates the sort of behaviours and skills you look up to.
- Shop Around
Commitment is vital to a good mentoring relationship, however, that does not mean you are locked into the first person you approach. Try meeting with numerous people to find out if you connect, particularly if you do not have much of a relationship with them already. The way you interact personally will be as vital as their experiences in making the relationship work, so give yourself options and do not be afraid to be honest if it is not working. Telling someone that you want to look else may feel awkward in the short-term, however, you will both lose a lot more by continuing a poor arrangement.
Mentors can greatly help your career for numerous reasons. We hope that this article has helped you to understand the benefits of mentorship for your career. If you decide to go forward with mentorship, keep in mind our tips for choosing a mentor.