A mentor is a seasoned professional who guides a less-experienced person informally. They must consider the best interests of the person they are mentoring.
Personally, professional development is fundamental at each of your career stages. But if you have limited career experience, you may feel overwhelmed when navigating your career path and industry. Peer mentoring helps to ensure a positive relationship between mentor and mentee.
What Is A Mentor?
Mentorship is a mutually beneficial relationship where an experienced individual imparts knowledge or skills to a less experienced person while developing their mentoring skills.
An effective mentor can guide the mentee professionally and maintain a supportive environment. The mentor needs to have the best interests of the mentee in mind. If you are looking for a mentor, you need to follow the three practices
- A clear goal is necessary- you must define your career and formulate achievable goals. Understand what are the things you need to do to achieve your goals
- ·Choose a business-centric approach- Approach a mentor relationship just like a business friendship. Be casual and friendly, and do not ask awkward questions like will you be my mentor
- In your professional network, search for a mentor. You might already have a mentor in your professional network who will be providing you with valuable advice. It would just take effort to convert that relationship into a meaningful one.
What Does A Mentor Do?
The moment you start a career or venture into a business with some experience, the services of a mentor may turn out to be useful. They may be a sounding board at critical points in your career.
They can provide guidance on career management that you cannot obtain from other sources. Even introductions to business contacts in the industry are possible.
The mentors can help the mentees identify and prevent business pitfalls and work through the challenges. Mentors should be people other than your boss who can give you advice on betting ahead and support your business goals.
How to Find a Mentor?
Finding a mentor can be organic, but you must follow a proactive approach and set yourself up for a successful mentoring relationship.
- Determine what you want out of your career—The first step in finding a mentor is determining what you want. You do not want to plan your career path, as unexpected opportunities or obstacles may arise. Rather, it is better to define what you want in the short term and formulate a clear path ahead.
- Outline a person who will do a great job. You need to consider your career path and narrow it down to your dream job and the people you admire. Successful mentoring happens when both the mentor and mentee are on the same page. Reach out to someone with whom you are comfortable and who has a neutral stance; even they will provide you with great advice.
- Examine your professional circle. People in your professional circle may include former bosses, friends, or colleagues. They could be coworkers from another department or family friends you’ve met.
- Look for people who understand the role and the industry. Seek out someone who has a general idea about your current role or industry and will advise you on new certifications, projects, or handling other politics in your organization.
When you are ready to reach out to someone, make sure that you keep things casual. An approach to a potential mentor should be like that to a friend, as your relationship will develop over time. Do not force things and stay relaxed; advice and lessons will come over time.
It is not like that, where you will sit and chat with someone and mention to him, “Will you be my mentor?” as it is about thinking along the lines of meeting a friend in real life so that you go on to become good friends. This is going to be completely awkward.
Things You Need To Consider When Working With A Mentor
A mentor can be a valuable asset for a young, aspiring entrepreneur. There are numerous benefits to working with a mentor.
Mentorship provides a new perspective from a seasoned professional.
Learning from someone who has valuable experience is a great opportunity. Since we slip into day-to-day working mode, it is easy to be lost in the moment.
A mentor will be able to reset the perspective so that we can see our careers and growth from a new vantage point.
Mentoring starts with working hard and developing a personal reputation for success. When you focus on your goal or career, you set up an opportunity to connect with seasoned professionals who will witness your talent and want you to grow.
Powerful people tend to look out for talented people, as they cannot find a considerable number of them. It is not about finding a mentor and doing well, but the logic is simple: do well, and you will come across a mentor.
For obtaining valuable guidance, mentorship is an informal way
Understanding the nature of the mentor-mentee relationship is crucial. There is a need to understand that the connection between them does not have to be an intense formal agreement.
The key is to focus on professional relations in the best interests of everyone.
It is an outgoing conversation in which the relationship will not change your life. The search for a mentor means that you need to find someone proactively, and they should be able to add value to your career and life.
The lessons can be applied at any stage of your career, but this is going to be the case, especially for the people who are new to this industry and are formulating a path to success.
A modern mentor will be able to evaluate your mind or career in such a way, and this is something that cannot be taught in school.
For a lot of them, mentorship goes on to play an important role in their career growth.
How To Build A Great Relationship With A Mentor?
The following things can be done if you intend to have a great relationship with your mentor:
Setting up regular follow-up times.
When you meet a mentor and start an initial conversation, think carefully about how you intend to follow up with them.
If they are open to engaging in dialogue with you, you must set up calendar meetings and opt for them regularly.
How frequently you speak to your mentor is up to you, but the goal is to achieve long-term success. This would mean hopping on the phone or meeting over coffee twice a month.
Utilise social media.
Social media provides the perfect opportunity to have regular and meaningful conversations. For light things and journals or articles, you may use Twitter or LinkedIn.
Social media would allow mentees to judge their mentors, making them understand they value the relationship. But make sure that you do not frequently judge, as you could sound pushy.
Critical information is to be saved for house meetings.
There is no point in discussing ideas over social media or email. You would need to save that for in-house interactions.
Make a point of meeting up with them on a regulatory basis. If the calendar is packed, it is better to think outside the box and just go for the interactions. You can meet them outside the office and not resort to emails.
Resort to old-fashioned mail
A meaningful way should be made for you to connect with your mentor. A holiday card or a thank-you note can go a long way in valuing your mentor’s advice and presence in your life.
What Are The Qualities That A Good Mentor Needs To Have?
You must wisely choose a mentor. They need to be someone to whom you aspire and look forward. There are a few qualities that a mentor needs to possess.
Experience and success
At a basic level, a mentor needs to have more experience than you and a proven track record of success.
A quality mentor is one whose qualities make you a better version of the person you envision yourself to be.
Look out for empathetic, genuine, honest, and creative mentors. You need to search for someone who is caring and has invested in your professional growth but will also speak the truth. In some cases, you would require a reality check or constructive criticism, whereas, in a few other cases, you would require a pat on the back.
Similar values to your own
A mentor in the same business area will understand your business concerns and challenges. Fruitful mentoring does not have to be in the same industry, but the leadership style is important.
Being aware of who you are as a leader is critical before you enter into a mentoring relationship.
Ways By Which You Can Become An Amazing Mentor
There are a few steps that you can follow to become an amazing mentor.
Understand what you want from the relationship.
All of you will be aware that mentorship is not a one-way street. This indicates that, just like the mentee, you need to know the type of relationship you are seeking and what you want to know. There are a few questions that would help you get started.
- How is it possible to sharpen the area of your expertise?
- How does a mentorship program help you in your personal and professional life?
The expectations need to be set from the beginning.
The moment you know what to expect from a relationship, setting expectations is key. Every mentor-mentee relationship is unique.
So, when you start, discuss your expectations with your mentee and outline whether you are ready for that commitment.
Everyone views feedback differently, so it is important to understand if the relationship fits both parties. Some of the expectations turn out to be straightforward.
A genuine interest in your mentee as a person
The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a personal one. You can just about advise anyone, but once you know a person on a personal level, the advice tends to be different.
The moment you get to know your mentee personally, a relationship is developed.
The best way to achieve this is to become a conscious listener.
It would imply making a deliberate effort to understand what the mentee is trying to say rather than planning what you will say next.
A degree of vulnerability exists with mentorship, as a safe environment is to be created where a mentee can share their concerns, as you need to build trust.
It would mean assessing the core challenges, opportunities, and issues beyond the circumstances.
The moment you can build trust with the mentee, the relationship will go to the next level.
Know when to give advice.
When you are mentoring someone, you will be pressured to give advice immediately.
But all the feedback is not helpful feedback, as you need to know when to differentiate things. A good mentor is aware of when they need to hit a pause in their relationship.
If you do not have the right information or knowledge to deal with a situation, hit pause. This will give you a chance to gain more information, talk to your resources, and come back with a clearer picture.
There is no point in assuming anything about a mentee; just ask.
Breakthrough common assumptions and pose relevant questions to your mentee.
This is all the more true if you are mentoring someone in the early stages of their career. Spend considerable time interacting with them and developing a keen understanding of the problem.
Your job is to encourage advancement and facilitate movement, not merely chat. Since your words can change their lives, you need to choose your words carefully.
Sharing your journey
Being open to sharing your own mistakes and failures is one of the best gifts a mentor can give.
Not only does it turn out to be helpful information for problem-solving purposes, but it is also going to strengthen the relationship.
The junior employees do not feel like owning up to a mistake or admitting they are struggling in a particular area. If you cope with your struggle and chime in, it will help them share things with you.
Celebrate your achievements.
Just because you require the services of a mentor to deal with stressful situations, it does not mean that your relationship will evolve based on those hints.
You need to take your time and celebrate the success and achievements of the mentor, and in the process, keep them motivated.
Some of the mentees seek approval from their mentees. Acknowledging their success is an ideal way to satisfy the psychological need for recognition. If you are wondering about asking them how to celebrate their relationships, you can ask them.
Seek out resources that will help the mentee grow.
A greater mentor goes on to create a situation or develop one where the mentee can achieve their goals.
It could be connecting with anyone who has experience in the same job, and it is suggested that you take note of the areas where the mentee wants to grow. Hence, you need to look out for opportunities in the right direction.
First, you need to find something that gives context. This may be something that requires research and is reasonably valuable. Then you hand over something small to the mentee that will give them an idea.
Make sure you have the bandwidth.
Leadership feels best when mentorship is approached as a calling rather than a task. With all this in mind, you need to consider whether you have the bandwidth to handle things.
Be honest with yourself about the time and context that you will give to the task at hand. This is going to help you manage your personal and professional lives easier.
Any relationship needs to be mutually beneficial, and if you feel that you are burdened by the relationship in any way, you need to be respectful to your mentee and mention to them that you are not able to deal with the relationship.
How Can You Add Value To A Mentor-Mentee Relationship?
As a mentee, it would be easy to fall into the temptation of asking a lot from your mentor without giving anything in return.
Though a mentor would be happy to provide you with advice, it is vital that you figure out ways to show appreciation and make yourself available to the mentor.
It is fundamental that you value the relationship by valuing the advice and time of the mentor.
You may arrive at the meetings early or adjust your schedule to make the meeting convenient for you and your mentor.
Young professionals may not have a lot to give to their mentors, but they can show respect and appreciation.
You may turn out to be a better mentor to your mentee by following up, as chances are that if they are the right fit for you, they will appreciate extra information. Thank them, and appreciate them for their time.
How To Be Proactive In Your Mentoring Relationship?
The goal of hiring a mentor is to gain valuable insights and advance in your career. This is only going to be possible if you are proactive about the situation.
All of us need to be proactive when it comes to our own career goals and advancement. You need a mentor; at some point in time, you may hit a stumbling block.
With a mentor, you need to keep things simple and have a relaxed outlook on the relationship. This is often something to be learned from someone who has advanced in their career.
The key is to keep an open mind to whatever lesson or message may appear.
Seek out someone you are looking to emulate who will help you in areas where you are deficient and lack knowledge.
You would want to create an environment where you are paying for the knowledge that you are forwarding to others.
Employee compensation, in most cases, refers to the cash benefits that an employee receives in exchange for the services that are rendered to them.
In most countries around the world, an individual is paid a set amount of money for the services they provide to their employees.
The compensation or benefits depending on the type of company for which you are working.
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Business, marketing, and blogging – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, HR, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.