The importance of mentorship: benefits for career success

benefits for career success, mentorship
© Robin Winkelman

The career success of some people can be improved by professional mentorship from the very people they idolise

Do you ever look at successful people within your profession and wonder how they got there? Do you wish to be like them? Well, most junior employees and college graduates do. Everyone has that one person who they look up to and wish that they could emulate their success. What such people really need is to be mentored professionally by the very people they idolise. That’s where career mentorship comes in. In this article, we will be looking at three main ways through which a junior professional could benefit from career mentorship. But first:

Who is a career mentor and where can you find one?

A career mentor is a person who is able and willing to listen to- and help you with- your career goals, challenges, and fears. Where can you find one? Well, it could be one of your seniors in the office, a peer who has managed to get their career life together, someone in your family, or someone from the outside but who has excelled in your profession. How do you find one? By identifying a potential mentor and reaching out to them. Send them an email, call, or visit them at their workplace and tell them how much you admire their career and how much you would love to have them mentor you. You will be surprised at how interested people are at helping mentees who openly declare their admiration towards them.

The bottom line: your mentor needs to be someone who has gone through the very steps you are going through today. Find them and request their assistance.

Can you have multiple career mentors at a go? Of course you can. To become the best, you will need all the help that you can get. And again, most successful people are busy people who may not afford to be there every time you need mentoring. Having multiple mentors means that when one is too busy to talk, someone else is available.

Do mentors need any form of training? Whereas mentoring others requires experience and dedication, it is always better if a mentor trains on how to coach people professionally. That way, he/she is able to understand the mentee not only from a career perspective but also from a personal angle. There are companies that provide life coaching training for people who want to help others create profound change in themselves, their work and their lives. At the end of the training, the trainees are better equipped to mentor other people and to equally benefit from that mentorship.

How beneficial is career mentorship?

You don’t know how much you need mentorship until you start getting some. Some of the benefits of it include:

1. Job recommendations

The disadvantage of being a junior employee in any organization is that you rarely get the time to look for better-paying jobs. Sometimes you are forced to wait for your promotion for years and even when it comes, it fails to propel you as high as you would have wanted it to. This often leads to frustrations. Talking about it with your mentor, however, presents a chance for you to get those frustrations off your chest. The mentor understands your frustrations and would help you to find a better job.

2. Source of encouragement

The encouragement you get from your family and friends is good, yes, but it wouldn’t compare with the advice you would get from someone who has experienced the same problems as you. If your boss is a bully, your mentor understands what that feels like. If you are thinking of going back to school, your mentor probably did the same at some point in his/her life. If your colleagues are stressing you out, your mentor too has been there and has viable tips for you to do it. When you feel like quitting, your mentor understands your reasons and encourages you accordingly.

3. Mentors educate you

It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job. You will always need someone to give you checks and balances. When you are given a tough assignment at work and need some external input, your mentor is your number one source. When you are doing well at work and walking at the top of the world, your mentor will be there to remind you of how dangerous pride could be to your career. They understand both situations too well and that’s invaluable to your career.

What’s your role as a mentee?

As a rule of thumb, mentorship is a give and take kind of interaction. You benefit from it but you too should help your mentors to climb their career ladders. They too haven’t completely made it in life and would do with a little input from you. They may not ask for your advice maybe because they consider you inexperienced but sharing it with them won’t cost you anything, will it? While at it, find a mentee of your own and nurture him/her. It is within this mentoring loop that you succeed in your career life.


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