J Loren Norris said,
“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”
Everybody needs a mentor. According to Professional Leadership Institute, a mentor is a guidance-based relationship between two or more people. Mentors play a key role in building our careers and helping us become more successful in our personal and professional lives. Mentors may also embody values that you aspire to hold or enhance. These values may include excellence, creativity, being detail-oriented, and overall leadership.
Benefits of Having a Mentor
Mentors help bring clarity to our lives. Connecting with people who are farther in life’s journey gives us access to invaluable wisdom on how to take steps that are best for the future. Mentors provide career-building and growth guidance and act as your personal advocates even when you are not in the room. They share your accomplishments, skillset, and values to get you to the next level. Mentors build a platform for you, so you can demonstrate your skills and talent and everyone can stay updated about your capabilities.
One of the best gifts that mentors provide is building interpersonal skills, such as accountability, professional communication, teamwork, and leadership. When a goal or desire is shared, a mentor can provide encouraging words but also hold you accountable for timelines and set values to meet your targets.
There are three ways to identify a mentor. You can ask your leader, sign up for the company mentorship program, or join professional communities.
1. Ask Your Leader
The first and easiest way to gain a mentor is to ask your leader! Strike up a conversation with your immediate supervisor and ask to be mentored. You can include a timeline, and a specific goal and encourage feedback for any areas that may need development. Your leader already knows your strengths and weaknesses. This is also beneficial in finding ways to add more value to the company and land new opportunities!
2. Join a Mentorship Program
The second possibility to gain a mentor is to sign up for an internal mentorship program through your organization. It may be an informal process where you can freely contact another leader with your supervisor’s approval or sign up for an official program designed by management. They may host a book club, have meetings with regular goal updates or simply tackle specific projects. Be sure to build key relationships, learn valuable skills and show up to serve.
3. Professional Communities
The third choice is to join professional communities. LinkedIn is a popular platform where making valuable connections is easy. Many organizations partner with special local or international associations, clubs, and groups that focus on a particular skill. Start looking for these communities and sign up to be a member!
How to take the first step?
There are countless advantages of having a mentor. First, make a list of people who embody the values you aspire to excel in, who are in the roles you wish to serve in, and who have created life-changing shifts at work, then, draft up a message or script for a call. Be prepared for a few rejections. Some people may not have time to mentor you because they are already mentoring others but do not let that intimidate you, there are endless possibilities. Don’t hesitate and reach out to a few today.
Do you want to work with a company that values mentorship and has its own structured program? Join our growing Etech Global Community!