"If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
Mentoring is becoming a prevalent and essential topic in career growth, and the word "mentor" is a buzz word in which many do not even understand its meaning and power. A mentor is an experienced individual who helps impart essential skills and lessons to a less experienced person. The reality remains that mentoring if practised well has the power to transform and accelerate your vocational journey and career growth.
Below are four ways mentoring will aid in career acceleration;
• Creates a soft landing: In mentoring, the mentor shares with the mentee his or her experiences, lessons and even mistakes and so gives the mentee/protégé knowledge on reasonable steps to take in career advancement. The protégé gains a soft landing in terms of essential career steps and decisions as he or she will have an idea of what outcomes to expect from decisions taken. Such protégé/mentees are ahead of their peers because they avoid mistakes that their peers might make.
• Develop potential Leadership skills: A critical leadership quality is the ability to take the initiative and strategically manage situations. With a mentor, a mentee receives vital feedback on the essential aspects of leadership, is given advise on specific conditions and are made to develop themselves intellectually to meet and master any work situation that they find themselves in. They gain valuable skills that improve their ability to lead and manage a team. That is why when it is time for a promotion or measuring work efficiency, these set of employees stand out and are mostly the ones that get promoted. Of a truth, effective mentoring sharpens the intellect of an individual and develops their mind to take the lead.
• Exposure to strategic opportunities and career planning: Most people lack a comprehensive plan of where they see themselves. However, a mentor has walked in the shoes of a mentee before and can give this mentee a hint about progressive plans they can make, skills they need to build as well as opportunities they can maximise. By so doing, the mentee gains insight in strategic steps to take and in forecasting their career growth.
• Improves Networking: Like how it is in relationship building, gaining access to one person means gaining access to their network, the same exists in mentoring. A mentee gains access to the network of their mentor, and so gains valuable access to people of influence, references and potential collaborators. Another thing a mentor does as regards networking is the building of a mentee’s interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively. These skills are essential skills needed for successful networking.
It is often believed that a mentoring relationship is one-sided as the mentor only helps the mentee navigate through the mentee’s growth process. However, mentoring is not supposed to be one-sided because both parties are to benefit from a mentoring relationship equally. It is no news that with the growth of technology, there has been a growth in processes and change in systems, a mentee can always bring a new perspective to the knowledge of their mentor. If utilised well, the mentoring relationship is powerful enough not only for growth but also for the transformation of the individuals involved in the relationship.
So, get a mentor or be a mentor today. If you are already in a mentoring relationship, then use this article as a guide to maximising the gains of it. Here is a cheer to successful mentoring relationships.