National Mentoring Day – 9 ways mentorship could boost your career!
By Amber Tennant
If you feel like you need more direction in your career, have you considered asking someone in your company to be your mentor?
From expanding your professional network and making use of practical advice, to exploring new ideas and gaining new skills, take a look at what you can gain from having a mentor and how it could reward you professionally…
1. Gain encouragement and support
As a mentee, you would have access to a wealth of practical advice, encouragement and support from someone who has been there, done it and is now wearing the t-shirt.
2. Gain new skills
Your mentor can help you identify and fill gaps in your generic skills and knowledge. What’s more – the partnership can help you develop communication and interpersonal skills, as well as enhance your ability to accept and make use of feedback constructively.
3. Gain more direction in your career
Your mentor can help you to identify your career goals and establish a sense of direction by creating a plan for your professional life. They can give you advice on how to develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses in order to achieve this. Being able to discuss your career on a regular basis also means you maintain a broader perspective on career options and opportunities.
4. Boost your problem solving skills
Mentorship will allow you develop strategies for dealing with both personal and professional challenges. Your meetings will provide an opportunity for you to vent frustrations to someone other than a partner, employee or customer (which would risk the stability of the business) and work on how to overcome problems in a productive way. Doing so will also encourage frequent self-reflection and greater self-awareness.
5. Become ‘one of the team’ quicker
If you’re a new or junior member of staff, having a more established colleague to turn to for advice and guidance can help you settle into your new role more easily, adapt to the company culture and learn a set of new skills quicker.
6. Gain a wealth of knowledge and experience unique to your mentor
One of the biggest benefits of mentoring is that you can make use of the individual skills, knowledge, experience and perspective of a more experienced or senior team member.
7. Build on your network
Having a mentor enables you to build supportive professional relationships and extend your wider network. As you discuss your professional life you will naturally be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking, which will be invaluable as your career develops and you work with new people.
8. Increase self-confidence and motivation
Knowing you have a credible, helpful mentor can give you more confidence when facing difficult business problems. This will increase your sense of self-worth and pride in achievements, and help you better understand your importance in the organisation.
9. Increased visibility and recognition within the company
The new skills, knowledge and understanding of the company you will gain from your mentor can help you to stand out more at work. The increased recognition could pave the way to further training, more responsibility or even a promotion.
CAW Business School, based in Godmanchester, Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) was set up by The College of Animal Welfare in 2012 to offer business and accountancy programmes to those throughout the Eastern region and beyond. For more information visit https://business.caw.ac.uk