When I started working in my first real career job; I felt on top of the world. I felt like I could do and achieve anything. Those feelings lasted only a little while until I realised working in my chosen field was daunting, hard work and I really had no idea what I was doing.
I was young, inexperienced, made a lot of mistakes, let my colleagues down and often put my foot in it. Thankfully though, along came a mentor who took me under his wing, showed me the ropes and guided me towards success. Now, many years on I still remember how impactful and integral my mentor was to my career and my professional development.
Choosing to be a mentor is a big deal. It takes a mix of a few key traits that say you’re ready for the job and the responsibility.
- A mentor is a role model to their mentee in an ever-evolving and dynamic partnership.
- A mentor should be a person who has greater knowledge and experience in a certain area of expertise than their mentee. The mentor’s role in the partnership is not necessarily to coach but to nurture and guide their mentee’s learning and professional development.
- A mentor is not strictly confined to career development. A mentor can take many shapes, such as an industry mentor, a health mentor, life mentor or wellbeing mentor. The relationship can be formal or informal, long or short-term where a weekly, monthly or even yearly check-in can be established. Most importantly, a mentor commits to a partnership that focuses on supporting the growth and development of their mentee.
6 signs that say you’re ready to be a mentor:
- You have a significant amount of experience and expertise in your subject domain.
- You have time and a willingness to give to others.
- You are patient, honest and nurturing towards others.
- You enjoy providing wisdom, insight and perspective to others.
- You are able to translate abstract ambitions or desires into tangible, achievable goals.
- You have an earnest desire to see others develop and succeed.
There are also a lot of benefits to becoming a mentor not only for your mentee but for you too. They can differ from partnership to partnership but generally speaking, you might gain the following benefits:
- Adds a new dimension to your career highlights and achievements
- Broadens your interpersonal relationship building skills
- Fulfilment by seeing others succeed
- Learn new perspectives
- Widening your professional network
Interested in exploring some more professional development opportunities? Browse our current workshops here.