Some of the most important considerations for professionals include how to find the right mentor and how to get the most out of a mentoring relationship. According to recent studies, nearly 80 percent of millennials view mentoring as a crucial aspect of career success, and more than 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies have established workplace mentoring programs. While it is clear that mentorship has become a key priority for successful professionals and companies alike, what exactly do you stand to gain from obtaining a mentor? Following are a few of the many benefits that mentors can provide to individuals at any stage of their career.
1. Inspiration and Motivation
In order to become a successful professional in any sector, individuals must be driven to work hard, take risks, and push themselves to improve. While it is important for this motivation to come from within, mentors can often provide an extra source of inspiration simply by offering their support. For professionals, the knowledge that someone successful has faith in their abilities can serve as a much-needed source of support during tough times.
Mentors are in an ideal position to provide guidance, encouragement, and reassurance. As an individual with experiences that are relevant to your personal goals, your mentor can draw on his or her own knowledge to motivate and provide assurance that you are on the right path.
While mentors will ideally possess experience in your chosen field, they can offer insight that extends beyond professional competency.They can explain not only how you can be successful at your job, but also how to advance, navigate challenges, and identify opportunities unique to your field. For entrepreneurs, they can also provide crucial insights on business development matters such as partnerships, hiring, and strategic development. At the same time, a mentor can provide guidance on more abstract matters, helping you to evaluate competing professional opportunities and establish a healthy work-life balance.
With the knowledge that your mentor has walked the same path that you now travel, you can trust their advice even in times of uncertainty or defeat. Your mentor’s experiences will also allow them to warn you about mistakes, helping you to avoid common missteps on the path to success.
3. Idea Development
A mentor can provide an unbiased perspective that is invaluable when brainstorming or solving problems. Mentors can serve as a sounding board to help evaluate new ideas honestly, particularly when working with budding entrepreneurs. The presence of a knowledgeable third party can often help professionals to be more realistic about their plans and expectations.
If you have found the right mentor, you will be able to trust them with your intellectual property and accept criticism in a constructive manner. Since a mentor’s primary goal is to share their knowledge in order to help facilitate someone else’s success, you can trust that your mentor will provide honest feedback on your ideas grounded in a knowledge of your own goals and aptitude.
A mentor with sufficient knowledge and experience in your field will be able to connect you with additional resources, people, and opportunities. In addition to offering their own insight, mentors can act as liaisons to help you solicit professional advice from others, introduce you to people who can help to advance your career, and open the door to new networking opportunities. For entrepreneurs, this can present a wealth of new opportunities to attract investment.
Your mentor’s relationship with you can serve as a testament to your professional potential. If the mentor is respected in your industry, he or she can help to expand your network. In addition to helping you to form connections with the right people, a mentor can also help you to grow personally and professionally, improve your ability to communicate your ideas, and make a positive impression.
5. Personal Growth
Networking is one of the many areas in which mentors can help their mentees to improve. With an understanding of their goals, strengths, and weaknesses, mentors can help their protégés to become more aware of their faults and develop strategies to improve them. While mentors can certainly offer praise and encouragement when appropriate, their purpose is to help you accomplish your goals. They are motivated to spur you to improve rather than to downplay your weaknesses. For this reason, they are a valuable professional asset.
Over time, a mentor’s constructive criticism can help you to develop a more honest view of yourself and to become more adept at identifying your talents and shortcomings. This is one way in which mentors can become a valuable source for developing discipline and forming boundaries. Mentors can help to guide professionals in the assessment of their goals and help to instill in them those work habits and focus that are necessary to achieve professional success.