"A mentor helps their mentee understand their goals and work toward them."
Think back to your childhood, and you’ll probably remember your parents and teachers offering unsolicited advice. Perhaps they warned you against playing too many video games or hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Regardless of how we react to their guidance, parents and teachers are our first examples of mentors.
People early in their careers also benefit from the guidance of mentors. A mentor helps their mentee understand their goals and work toward them. They provide objective advice meant to support their mentee’s professional development as well.
While it may seem that a mentee is the sole beneficiary of a mentor’s guidance, the mentor also benefits from the relationship. Here are a few reasons to become a mentor.
1. Expand Your Network
Networking is crucial if you want to understand the inner workings of your industry. Remember, your company isn’t the only organisation offering certain products or services to customers. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of companies seeking to reach clients.
You’ll strengthen your professional network and expand your knowledge when you meet new people working in other companies in your market sector.
For example, in Kris Duggan’s interview, the entrepreneur describes how mentoring allows him to work with over 100 early-stage entrepreneurs in the tech industry. His experience in tech startups helps guide others toward success. At the same time, he builds relationships with the upcoming movers and shakers in Silicon Valley.
2. Build Your Leadership Skills
Developing your leadership skills is part of preparing yourself for the next stage in your career. Without leadership skills, getting buy-in from your team or motivating others to accomplish a goal is challenging.
Mentorship helps you develop the leadership skills you need to manage others. You’ll learn to build relationships and drive others to achieve specific objectives. You can apply these skills to your next role as a manager or executive.
No matter how great they are at their jobs, many professionals struggle to maintain confidence in their abilities. Some leaders are perfectionists, and a single mistake can cause their confidence levels to crash.
Becoming a mentor will strengthen your confidence when you see your mentee excel with your guidance. Your success will transfer into other areas of your life, including your own role.
4. Enhance Your Knowledge
It’s common to forget skills you once knew as you progress in your career. They'll eventually become distant memories if you don’t regularly use them in your daily tasks.
Working with a mentee can help you regain knowledge long forgotten. Mentees are typically in the early stages of their careers, and they may need the skills you no longer think about.
For instance, consider a mentee starting their first accounting job. They’re uncomfortable working in Excel, but you know some tips and tricks to get them started. You could share your knowledge with them, helping to reinforce your familiarity with the spreadsheet software.
Becoming a Mentor Helps You and Others
When you decide to become a mentor to others in need of your guidance, you benefit too. You’ll create new relationships, increase your knowledge, and learn leadership skills to excel in your own career. You’ll also feel fulfilled for helping someone else achieve their goals.
Mentoring others is a fantastic way to provide value to someone early in their career journey and expand your skill set as well.
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