The work world has changed considerably over the past two decades. Employees must do more with fewer resources. Having a mentor who can guide you and advise you will make your career journey smoother, more enjoyable and more successful.
My most profound learning and professional development came from a series of mentors throughout my career. I sought mentors in my workplace and in the community to give me access to a broader array of leadership talent. I learned from their vision and experience, and gained understanding about organizational and community culture, appropriate behaviours, attitudes and protocols. They showed me new and different ways to problem solve and contribute to the organization, they changed my perspective, expanded my leadership ability, and championed me and cheered me on. They accelerated my performance and eventually prepared me to become a successful entrepreneur.
So, what is Mentorship? Career mentoring is a relationship in which a mentor meets on an on-going basis with a mentee to help develop his/her career. The focus may be on career exploration, moving around the organization, goal setting or gaining perspectives on the organization.
There are several benefits for a Mentee:
- Boost your career prospects and growth - obtaining insider career advice and planning assistance can help you make more thoughtful, well rounded decisions, and will increase your self-awareness and self-discipline.
- Exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences - helps you see situations and opportunities through different lenses, expanding your perspective and wisdom.
- Add value to your organization - increasing the value of your contribution to the organization is a sound strategy for job retention and promotion.
- Develop problem solving and innovation skills - as organizations must constantly find better ways of doing things to maintain their competitive advantage, your ability to innovate will add further value to your contribution.
- Develop leadership skills - leaders take initiative, mobilize, engage, motivate, inspire and collaborate. Those who mentor do all these things.
- Embrace and learn! Gain access to your mentor’s network - networks are powerful hubs of information, people and opportunity. Expanding your network will give you access to a broader spectrum of valuable resources to help you learn and grow.
So, seek out and approach leaders you admire and respect in your workplace and community. You will find leaders usually welcome those who want to learn and grow. In my experience, I engaged different types of mentors and they changed as I grew and developed. When I wanted to reach a different summit, I sourced mentors who would help me get there.