By Katherine Ryan

6 traits confirming you're ready to be a mentor

05 Feb 2018

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.

Mentor responsibilities:

  1. A mentor is a role model to their mentee in an ever-evolving and dynamic partnership.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. You have a significant amount of experience and expertise in your subject domain.
  2. You have time and a willingness to give to others.
  3. You are patient, honest and nurturing towards others.
  4. You enjoy providing wisdom, insight and perspective to others.
  5. You are able to translate abstract ambitions or desires into tangible, achievable goals.
  6. 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.

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