The Benefits of Having a MentorBY |
Acquiring a mentor, or maybe even several mentors, throughout your career has many benefits. They help you avoid mistakes, provide a sounding board for your ideas and concerns, and generally help you advance in your chosen career a lot faster.
With that in mind, let’s go through a few of the benefits of having a mentor in greater detail.
They Have Years of Knowledge and Wisdom
First and foremost, your mentor will have more experience than you in your chosen industry, and you’ll benefit from all the knowledge they’ve accumulated. They’ll be able to pass this knowledge onto you and provide you with an expanded perspective from the different stages of their career. This includes helping you avoid mistakes they’ve made along the way and advising you to do certain things, like gaining additional qualifications, sooner than they did.
Learning from their vast experience will give you an edge against similarly-qualified graduates when applying for jobs and navigating your career in general. Being able to pick their brain and access their wisdom is an invaluable tool for your professional development.
Helps Develop Your Leadership Skills
As your career develops, opportunities to lead will become increasingly prevalent, and a mentor will help prepare you to seize them. For a start, you’ll be able to observe how your mentor leads you. You’ll experience first-hand how to do things such as offering constructive criticism or encouragement, then implement their methods within your own work.
When you move into a leadership role and face a challenging situation with someone on your team, you can go to your mentor for some insight. Not only can they offer impartial advice, as someone removed from the situation, but they’ll also understand you as an individual. Consequently, they’ll know which of your tendencies or weaknesses may be clouding your judgment and compromising your ability to lead.
Builds Your Professional Network
Developing a substantial network can aid your career in so many ways. The connections you make will open a variety of doors in your professional life, from sending you business referrals to recommending you for positions you’re suitable for as your career progresses.
Before acquiring a mentor, your network would have mainly consisted of family and friends – who might prove to be very useful. Adding a mentor to that network strengthens it considerably. Not only will you have access to the people they’ve met over the years but, as their mentee (or protégé), they’ll be actively vouching for you. In other words, you won’t have to spend time looking for opportunities as someone will be out there looking for them on your behalf as well.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a mentor provides some much-needed accountability. One of the biggest challenges facing graduates entering the workplace is that after years of structured progress, they’re now in charge of their own development.
Up until graduation, you’d been guided by course structures, curriculums, exams, and deadlines. There was always someone to tell you what you had to do and when it had to be done by. Your career, by contrast, won’t be laid out in the same way: how you progress is up to you. If you’re not proactive about your professional development and fulfilling your potential, no one is obliged to urge you on. Unless, of course, you have a mentor.
A mentor will provide much-needed ‘tough love’ when you’re going too easy on yourself. When you’ve lost the focus and motivation to push towards that next career milestone, your mentor will be there to remind you what you have to gain. Most importantly, when you’ve lost confidence in yourself, a mentor will be there to remind you of who you truly are.
Would you benefit from having a mentor to kick start your career? Each of our interns is assigned a mentor to guide and assist them during their placement. Find out more about our Professional Internship Program.