17 Aug The Importance of a Professional Mentorship
Whether you are fresh out of college, or have been in your career for multiple decades, having a mentor can be extremely helpful. So, what is a professional mentor? A mentorship is a relationship between two people that focuses on professional and personal growth and development.
Why have a mentor?
There are numerous benefits when it comes to having a mentor. In most cases the mentor is an individual who shares their knowledge, experience, and advice with the less experienced mentee. Besides personal growth, most mentorships allow for networking opportunities, knowledge of the field, and new skills. Whether you’re looking to further your career, or simply learn more about another industry, a mentorship can act as a gateway to knowledge.
Finding a mentor:
Having a mentor may sound ideal but many people are confused on where to find one. And there isn’t really a right answer for this question. A mentor could be a coworker, friend, someone you admire, a mutual connection, anyone that you feel could fill the role of your ideal mentor. A mentor also doesn’t have to be someone who has years more experience than you. Even partnering with someone with the same level of experience can be helpful; you will both have knowledge and insight to offer one another.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone you admire to be your mentor. It may seem scary at first but in reality the mentor benefits just as much as the mentee does. So, if someone happens to ask you to be their mentor remember how much knowledge you have from personal experience. Many of us approach challenges, problems and goals differently. Simply talking to someone about your aspirations may provide insight on an approach you had never even thought of.
Fostering a healthy relationship:
Once you find a mentor you’ll want to ensure that you maintain a healthy relationship. You should both sit down and lay out what you want to get out of this mentorship; think goal setting, how much advice you want, the role you will both play, and how often you will meet. This is where a mentorship can be shaped into whatever you both are looking for. You can meet once a week or once a month, either way create a plan that will be attainable for both of you. Make sure you set up your meetings in a way where both parties feel comfortable. It could be done professionally, over coffee, or going for a run; whatever setting always both you and your mentor to feel comfortable.
A mentorship can be as beneficial as you make it. It’s all about finding the right mentor, creating a schedule, and being clear about what you want to get out of it. A year from now you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve learned, grown, and furthered your career all thanks to a quality mentorship.