Have you ever considered seeking out a mentor? Perhaps you already have one without really knowing it. Or perhaps you may think you don’t need one, especially if all seems to be going great in and out of the office. Regardless, a mentor can bring significant value to your personal and professional development. Here are some of the key benefits in having a mentor:
They help you set measurable goals
A great mentor will help you clarify and set realistic goals. They’ll also help you define how you can achieve them. We’re often capable of far more than we think, and a mentor can help us step out of our comfort zone, setting goals that may push our boundaries but are realistic and achievable.
They hold you accountable
In addition to helping you create a strategy, your mentor will hold you accountable along the way. Whether it be defining smaller milestones or assessing monthly progress, your mentor will be there to challenge you and suggest changes you can make to help achieve the end goal.
They help you hone key skills
We all have things we’re great at and we all have things we can work on. As long as you’re open to feedback, a mentor can help define your key strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps you’re aiming for a promotion to senior leadership, or preparing for a meeting that you know will involve a tough negotiation. A mentor can help you run through some practice scenarios or prepare for off-the-cuff questions, as well as help develop your wider skill set.
They offer insight from past experiences
Your mentor will be able to share personal experiences or anecdotes that will not only inspire you, but also help you avoid unnecessary mistakes. If you have chosen the right mentor, chances are they have been in your shoes before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be open to sharing your fears or concerns as this in turn will encourage your mentor to share relevant experiences too.
They help you become more self-aware
A good mentor will tell you how it is from an unbiased perspective. This will not only make you more self aware, but will help build your character overall. There’s certain feedback that may be difficult to hear, but you’ll be better for it.
They ensure you’re always learning
The benefits of mentoring don’t stop once you reach a certain level in your career- even senior leaders have mentors too. Your mentor isn’t there to give you all the answers- they’re there to help guide you and support your process. If you seek out mentors that are more experienced than you in an area you’re passionate about, you’ll be guaranteed to keep learning.
So, how do you find a mentor?
Truth is, you can’t have too many mentors. You may look for one who’s in the same field as you, but perhaps you also want a mentor that can help you achieve more personal goals too. You can have a mentor that prepares you for that promotion, and another one that helps you develop that hobby you’re passionate about!
There’s many places you can search for a mentor. Does your employer offer a membership program you can join? Are there professionals in your LinkedIn network or organisations you belong to that really inspire you? Another great way to meet these types of people is through meetups or networking events. Reach out to the people who share similar interests and you’ll be surprised at how eager they are to help!
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