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3 Ways To Make Mentorship Work For You

3 Ways To Make Mentorship Work For You

3 Ways To Make Mentorship Work For You

By Antonietta Marinelli | January 22, 2021

While often thought as most valuable at the start of our careers, or when deciding which road to take, a mentor can provide us with the guidance, advice and support to help us in achieving our goals over the lifespan of our careers. According to Forbes, 76% of people believe that mentors are important, but only 37% actually have one.

Learning from someone who holds experience in your field is of great benefit and helps to improve your confidence and a mentor often enough will provide you with great strategies and tricks when dealing with challenges you may face along the way (Fuller, 2017).

When starting out in an industry, we do not always have the right answers which is why having a mentor allows us room for growth and improvement. For individuals, studies show that good mentoring can lead us to greater career success, including promotions, raises and increased opportunities (Abbajay, 2019).

A mentor serves as a great sounding board and knowledge source to help you get from one destination to the next when working, studying or learning something new. Ideally, mentors hold the desire to develop and help your development, and are sincerely interested in helping you without any “official” reward. So, what can a mentor offer you?

● Development in knowledge and skill

Mentors are valuable sources of knowledge. When finding a mentor, look for one who will offer the best direction; both academically and professionally. Mentors allow you to develop a growing mindset and learning attitude. The best teachers have always been and will be those who remain curious and active learners to themselves.

● Communication skills

Mentors hold a great quality in the skill of developing their mentees. This includes the very real skill of active listening, asking direct, open-ended questions, providing feedback and holding a great level of self-awareness. (Abbajay, 2019) A mentor helps you to remain focused on your goals and improves your skills, networking, self-confidence and ultimate success along the path in developing your career (Fuller, 2016). Mentors are able to communicate with you in an effective way in order for you to learn and to grow.

● Communication skills

Mentors hold a great quality in the skill of developing their mentees. This includes the very real skill of active listening, asking direct, open-ended questions, providing feedback and holding a great level of self-awareness. (Abbajay, 2019) A mentor helps you to remain focused on your goals and improves your skills, networking, self-confidence and ultimate success along the path in developing your career (Fuller, 2016). Mentors are able to communicate with you in an effective way in order for you to learn and to grow.

● Networking

Mentors commonly offer to share their professional connections with their mentees. Having a mentor increases your visibility by providing new networking opportunities and identifying potential collaborators of influence within your field of expertise. Networking can be daunting, but having a mentor is a great way to expand your network and ensure visibility to others in your field.
In order to get the most out of this experience you have to put yourself out-there. Your mentor may open the door for you, but it's up to you to ensure that door remains open.

References:

● Abbajay, M. (2019). Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements of Success. Forbes. [Accessed 20 January 2021]
(https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryabbajay/2019/01/20/mentoring-matters-three-essential-element-of-success/?sh=515dd5a45a9f

● Comaford, C. (2019). 76% of People Think Mentors Are Important, But Only 37% Have One. Forbes. [Accessed 21 January 2021]
(https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2019/07/03/new-study-76-of-people-think-mentors-are-important-but-only-37-have-one/?sh=58fd94a74329)

● Enekwizu, O.Y. (2019). Networking: The Benefits of Having a Mentor. AlChE. [Accessed 21 January 2021].
(https://www.aiche.org/chenected/2019/02/networking-benefits-having-mentor)

● Fuller, B. (2017) 5 benefits of having a career mentor. Katie Roberts Career Counselling. [Accessed 20 January 2021].
(https://www.katieroberts.com.au/career-advice-blog/5-benefits-of-a-career-mentor/)

● G. (2018) 6 Reasons Why Having a Mentor Will Boost Your Career. Open Classrooms [Accessed 20 January 2021].
(https://blog.openclassrooms.com/en/2018/05/09/reasons-mentors-can-boost-career/)

● Indeed. (2020) 10 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor. Indeed. [Accessed 21 January 2021].
(https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/why-you-need-a-mentor)

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