Mentoring for Success
Experience is invaluable because it teaches you to learn from mistakes, take new directions, innovate and experiment with confidence and know the best way to move ahead. If we can get this experience before we start a new move when young, be it career, business, studies, art, sport or anything else, it would help hone our skills and propel us towards success. The only way to snare experience before we get real experience is to get hold of an experienced person or a mentor.
Why mentoring is important
Most successful people have had mentors or people who inspired, motivated and guided them towards their goals. If you find yourself a good mentor, half your problem towards attaining your goal is over. Good mentors bring with them not just experience but a lot more!
- The most difficult part of any project is to kick-start it. Mentors provide the spark to push you forward and start the first step.
- The mentor has been there and done that and can guide you on what you should do.
- You can learn what it takes to reach your goal from a mentor as well as the sacrifices that you may need to make to reach there.
- Mentoring puts things in perspective for you. You can then decide if you want to go down that path or not.
- Your mentor may be able to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and give you constructive feedback.
- Ideally, it is good to find a mentor with skill sets different from yours so that your learning process can be enriched.
- Everyone is ridden with feelings of uncertainty when they start something new. A mentor would help dispel these misgivings and give you the confidence to go ahead.
- The fact that you have the support of an experienced person as well as his/her words of encouragement helps build your confidence.
- The relationship with a mentor is usually long lasting. So you have an experienced resource person to consult whenever you need advice.
- Mentors will look out for you and sometimes pave the way for your snaring a job or keep you informed about opportunities that would be right for you. Some may even hire you because they know you personally.
- Sometimes a mentor breaks you out of your comfort zone and impels you towards new and unknown territories in the faith that you can do it. Entry into new fields will help you garner new knowledge and gain new experiences.
Finding a mentor
- Personal introduction to a mentor through someone known to both of you is the best way to find a good mentor. Failing that, you could ask your colleagues or experts in the field.
- Social media is a useful platform to help find a good mentor. You can also interact with your mentor through Facebook, Skype, etc.
- It is not important to find a mentor in your industry or location. You can be open about the gender of the mentor too. If mentors are different from you, the benefit is that you can amass the best range of possibilities and perspectives.
- In case you find that you are not able to strike the right chord with your present mentor, you can ask him/her to connect you with someone else in your field. Mentors don’t mind doing that.
What’s in it for a mentor?
If you would like to mentor someone or wonder what your mentor would get out of his/her involvement in the mentoring process…well, there’s a lot the mentor gets out of this relationship:
- Mentees recognize the fact that mentors are not going to take time out of their busy schedules to invest in them for free. Even if mentors are not compensated monetarily, mentees can offer value in return for their time.
- Often mentees are seen offering their time to do research for the mentors, or contribute to their profession or work in labor and time-saving routines to facilitate their mentor’s work.
- Mentors too learn a lot while guiding their mentees. Mentors derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with their mentees.