How bagging yourself a mentor you vibe with could help with your career development.
We’ve all heard the term ‘mentor’, but what does it really mean?
Put simply, a mentor is someone with professional experience and expertise they can impart to you as a ‘mentee’.
It’s someone ahead of you in their career who is willing to ‘take you under their wing’ as you map your professional path.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), professional mentors have two roles to play:
- Career related function – this refers to the gems of professional wisdom that help you with career development.
- Psychosocial function – the interpersonal support and role modelling they offer you.
Why should I care?
Padawan. Protege. Pupil. Positioning yourself to learn from an expert in your field of work can be the key to avoiding career pitfalls.
Research has consistently shown that people who are mentored are more satisfied and committed to their professions than non-mentored individuals (Wanberg, Welsh and Hezlett).
According to APA, mentored individuals also “often earn higher performance evaluations, higher salaries, and faster career progress than non-mentored individuals”.
What are the benefits for me as a mentee?
There are SO MANY benefits of engaging in a mentorship experience. In fact we’ve written a whole blog on the topic. In short, mentoring can help you:
- Nail your goal setting
- Increase your chance of promotion
- Develop strong communication skills
- Widen your professional network
- Boost your motivation.
When is the right time to seek out a mentor?
There is no wrong time to find yourself a mentor. No matter what stage you are in your career, there’s probably someone who has trodden the road before you.
That said, mentoring can be most beneficial when reviewing your career goals, considering next steps, or you need some wise advice.
Before you know it, you’ll be ready to impart your wisdom to a mentee of your own.
Types of mentoring
There are three main types of mentorship relationships:
✓ A relationship between 2 individuals (mentor and mentee)
✓ Set up to aid the mentee’s professional development
✓ May be a long-term or fixed term arrangement.
✓ Groups of up to 10 people in the mentoring session
✓ Group changes each week, drop-in-clinic style
✓ Opportunity to ask any question and leverage the expertise of the lead mentor and group.
✓ Limited to 5 or 6 people
✓ Fixed group of professionals in similar fields
✓ Conversation centres around defined topics and can be built on each session.
Looking for a mentor?
Steve Jobs to your Mark Zuckerberg. Maya Angelo to your Oprah. Yoda to your Skywalker. A mentorship could be one of the most significant relationships of your life.
Finding a mentor could be your next step in developing your career. Sign up to Strivin to access mentorship opportunities.