19 Oct All You Need to Know About Mentorship and How to Get One
As a young professional you need a mentor to inspire, connect, develop and open your mind.
The right mentor can provide advice and connections that help their mentee reach heights that would be impossible alone. They set you on the right path, helping you make less mistakes than you would normally have.
Benioff even says that “There would be no Salesforce.com without Steve Jobs.”
What is the role of a mentor?
Depending on the goals of your mentoring relationship, the knowledge, advice and resources your mentor shares may vary. A mentor may share information about their career path, provide motivation and emotional support.
The role of a mentor is to act as:
- Advisor and coach: provide advice, guidance, and feedback; share their experience and expertise as appropriate; act as a sounding board for ideas and action plans
- Champion and cheerleader: offer encouragement and support to try new things; help mentees move out their comfort zones; celebrate successes; help mentees understand when things do not go as planned
- Resource and recommendations: identify resources that will help mentees with personal development and growth, such as recommending books, workshops, or other learning tools; encourage mentees to join networking organizations or introduce them to new contacts
- Devil’s advocate and “truth-sayer”: provide the tough feedback that mentees need to hear in order to move forward; push mentees to take risks when appropriate; help mentees consider and weigh potential consequences of decisions and actions to avoid the pitfalls and predictable surprises that may occur.
The mentor role can also change as the needs of the mentee changes.
At Mentor Africa Foundation, our mentoring relationships are part of a structured programs that have specific expectations and guidelines. Others are more informal.
The American Psychological Association lists characteristics of effective mentoring to include “the ability and willingness to;
- value the mentee as a person;
- develop mutual trust and respect;
- maintain confidentiality;
- listen both to what is being said and how it is being said;
- help the mentee solve his or her own problem, rather than give direction;
- focus on the mentee’s development and resist the urge to produce a clone.”
Benefits of Having a Mentor
As an employee, artist, entrepreneur or sports person, you are expected to be the best at what you do. No excuses.
Often this means being more focused and knowledgeable with less support and fewer resources. If you’re feeling the pressure to keep up, learn continuously and demonstrate your talents simultaneously, you’re not alone. This is where a mentor can be a golden ticket to success.
Here are seven benefits of having a mentor.
A mentor provides you with a network of people in your chosen profession who will provide value-able connections, contracts and knowledge for your progress.
Having more experienced ears to bounce ideas off, helps you plan a clearer path to execute said idea. Because they have more experience, mentors also see potential fails to a plan and opportunities that do not occur to you.
A mentor is also more likely to give you an entirely different perspective from anyone who knows you personally. They can offer you impartial advice from a professional point of view, which may help you see opportunities and challenges from a more constructive perspective.
Mentors usually give their mentees heads up about the latest job openings before it gets to the public. They can also help with introduction to a potential employer, giving you a head start in the application process.
Mentors can provide actionable, professional advice with problems in business and the workplace. Again, the ir experience comes into play to prevent you from making mistakes.
Motivation is hard to maintain, but setting goals and telling your mentor about it holds you accountable for said goals.
Having a network of influential people who you can call on and add value to your experiences is a great way to continue on your own personal development. Talking through things with people more experienced than yourself can help you to learn and grow quicker. It is said that you are the sum total of the five people you hang out with the most, so it’s worth thinking about.
With the way distractions are all over the place, having someone to help you stay on track is very important. This will help maintain your personal growth and smash professional targets.
How To Get a Mentor
At Mentor Africa Foundation, our main aim is to connect mentees to mentors for the best career path.
Having a mentor is not a sure fire way to success but it puts you on a faster, clearer path.
A mentor can make a real difference in your career and life. Come to the relationship with realistic expectations about the role and a willingness to work hard. The impact of a mentor’s guidance and wisdom now may not be felt for some years to come, but you will realize its positive impact over time and go on to become a mentor to others.