Who is a mentor?
A mentor is that valuable role model of yours, the person that you admire and look up to because of their achievements, wisdom and experience.
A mentor is passionate about their career, has leadership experience, has the wisdom only experience can provide, while you, the mentee is in the early or mid-stages of your career. Usually, you, the mentee seems to be the one reaping the benefits of the mentoring relationship, in actual fact, it benefits both the mentor and you, the mentee.
Mentoring is an effective way of helping people to progress further in their chosen careers.
Mentoring is becoming increasing popular now that its potential is appreciated by most people. It is a partnership between two people, the mentor and the mentee. Normally, the two people work in a similar field or share similar experiences. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust, respect and understanding.
“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.” – Eric Parsloe, the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring
When it comes to mentoring, I may be stating the obvious here, but from experience, mentors are a valuable resource for everyone. Whether it’s someone you look up to at work, your former lecturer from university or a successful person in your field, a mentor can open doors for you in your career or open a door to your desired job. I believe in mentoring someone and having a mentor. My interest in mentoring was further solidified through a conversation that I had with a highly successful entrepreneur few years ago. I ran into her at a conference and she gave me some excellent advice for networking, branding and growing professionally.
She told me some apt stories that made me further realise the power of mentorship and why everyone needs a mentor.
“I have a mentor. You are never too old, clever or experienced to have a mentor. Most successful people have mentors,” she said. She proceeded to tell me that some of the biggest names in business have always had mentors and taken advice and guidance from their mentors. For instance, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc., all have had mentors and still have them. “You would be amazed that most successful people have probably been mentored at some point in their lives”.
In addition, research has shown that mentoring relationships succeed and are satisfying for both parties when both the mentor and the person being mentored take an active role in developing the relationship. If you need to get a mentor, now, let’s first explore how a mentor can help you:
How Can a Mentor Help You?
When you get a mentor, he can:
Ok, I get it. Now, how do I find a mentor?
To find a mentor, you need to look within or outside your organization for a leader that you admire and who is two or three steps above you.
You can also crank up your Social Media presence on LinkedIn and locate a successful person in your field through there. On Twitter, you can search using hash tags for successful people in your field; you can also look through your professional association or just contact the person you look up to directly in person. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone of your choice to mentor you. The worst thing they can say is “no.” Then, move to the next person. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
How do I work with a mentor?
Found a mentor? Great! Now, you should start making the most of the relationship. However, there are set rules that you must be aware of in order to make the most of the mentoring relationship.
The rules are:
To start with, you need to:
If you want to soar in your field, you need to get a mentor. If you are serious about achieving your set goals, it is critical that you get a mentor. Do you have a mentor? Let’s hear from you. Add your comments below.