You might be a lone wolf wanting to walk your own path alone and claim your own success. However, like in other parts of our lives, getting help and inspiration from others might bring you further than you can ever reach or make it much easier. Don’t forget, teamwork makes the dream work. The help of good mentorship provided by people who already walked that path might be more necessary and important than you think for your career.
What Is Mentorship?
Mentorship is a relationship between two individuals where one of them is a good role model due to their success or knowledge, and the other is less experienced or knowledgeable. The focus of good mentorship is to help the other person climb the ladders of success. Most of the time, it takes place informally without needing any guidelines or a certain structure such as in formal education.
Finding or offering good mentorship might be challenging. Keep reading to learn why it is important and how you can find a good mentor or become a mentor to someone. Or, for more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.
Who Is a Mentor?
A mentor is someone who shares the story behind their personal development with someone who is less experienced or new in a field and guides them. A role of a mentor can vary depending on the position and the mentee’s needs. A mentor can be anything from guidance to emotional support. It can help the mentee have inspiration for new business plans, career goals, finding resources, or developing a network.
Who Is a Mentee?
A mentee can be anyone who seeks professional advice. Most of the time, a mentee is someone who is not experienced nor knowledgeable enough in the professional field. However, someone who has already accomplished most of their business goals and climbed the ladders of success may also need someone else’s guidance and perspective.
Why Is Mentorship Important?
Communication is a big part of being a mentor. Through that, you can develop your interpersonal skills further. Constant practice is one of the most important and advantageous sides of offering someone mentorship. You don’t only share your knowledge with someone, you also practice that knowledge or skill, which brings you closer to mastery each time.
Being a mentor does not only benefit the mentee but also you as an individual. It helps you gain confidence, develop a new perspective on your field and practice your problem-solving skills. It provides you with a great chance for self-reflection.
Good mentorship can help you take a big step and advance in your career. A mentor can help you set goals, grow your network, and encourage you. They listen to you and your needs, give you constructive feedback, and support your personal and professional growth. With a good mentor, you can gain a new perspective on how to approach problems and solve them.
When your company offers a mentoring program, it works as a positive chain of events. Strategically helping your employees develop their skills further come along with lots of benefits. In that way, you show your employees that you care about them and their personal development. This creates a better and more positive work environment.
When you build a supportive work environment, your employees will tend to be more productive and loyal. Meaning that the increased quality of work will return to your company as more success.
For more insight, read our article about the benefits of mentorship.
What to Look for In a Mentor?
- Having excellent skills and knowledge in their field
- Being open to different perspectives
- Being eager to share and help others with their career
- Being self-aware
- Having good interpersonal skills and a friendly personality
- Coming from a similar educational background
- Having relevant experiences or challenges
Not everyone who is skilled and successful is suitable for being a mentor. Some people may not have the urge or interest in helping others. Some people might have it, but fail to transfer their knowledge and tricks to others well. Since mentorship is an important but also a fragile process, it requires a more holistic approach.
You need to self-reflect before becoming a mentor to someone else. If you are looking for a mentor, you should try to see whether the chemistry between you and the future mentor is matching. If you are not comfortable with the methods of the mentor, you won’t feel comfortable following them.
How Do I Find a Career Mentor?
Define your goals. If you know what you are seeking in your career, if you have already defined short and long-term plans, finding the right mentor will be easier. You need to know yourself and your needs first, before looking for someone else. If you can’t tell what you want to achieve, you won’t be following your own way. Mentorship is not about shaping your future, it is about inspiring you to find your own voice while reaching your goals.
Make a list of what you are looking for. You can start writing down what kind of people and business roles you are visualising for yourself. When you define what kind of surrounding you would like to be in, you will also know where to go and who to look for.
Research. Look for successful people in your field, and do research about their educational backgrounds and accomplishments. See if you can reach them. Don’t be afraid. Even if the answer is “no”, even if the person you reached out to is not the perfect match for you, you can’t tell without taking action. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Be afraid of all the opportunities you might miss if you don’t ask or ever try.
Use the power of your network. Sometimes the person you need might be standing so close to you. Think about the people you know and whether there is someone who might be a good mentor to you. If it is not your network, then it might be their network offering you more choices. See if you know someone who is connected to a successful and knowledgeable person in your field.
Read our article to learn more about how mentorship can inspire entrepreneur growth.
Long Story Short
Good mentorship can be one of the most important milestones in your career. Sometimes we need people who have already walked the path we were at the beginning of. Finding the right mentor might be challenging, but once you find that person, they can inspire you to take the right actions. Don’t forget, two heads are better than one. Whether you are a mentor or a mentee, mentoring is key to personal growth and career development.