As an employee, the task of growing your career can be a daunting one. All those opportunities to learn and expand your horizons are so tempting, but it’s hard to find the time for that when you’re already overworked.
The best way to make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities is by having a network of mentors.
That’s why learning some of the tips to building a network of mentors around you is essential to help you realize how having a mentor can help with everything from resourcing new leads and contacts, providing feedback on your work, and giving insight into what kind of work you should be applying for, and much more!
Who’s A Mentor?
A mentor is someone who offers guidance and support to their mentee in an educational or professional setting. Mentors can be older than their mentees, but often the relationship is much more informal and the mentor offers advice that doesn’t require formal pedagogy.
Some mentors are parents, peers, or friends with whom the mentee has a relationship outside of school as well.
Who are Mentors?
Mentors are the people you go to when you’re having problems with a specific aspect of your job or career and you want help on how to handle it. The best mentors are those who work in the same field and know what challenges current employees face.
They could be former employees or external mentors. Either way, they need to be able to help you navigate the pitfalls and opportunities you will face at work.
Qualities of a mentor
As for qualities that make for a good mentor:
- it’s about having respect for the person you’re assisting so you’re not controlling them;
- being able to provide the expertise that complements what they already know;
- And seeing your role as a healthy challenge that provides opportunity rather than just giving knowledge on its own.
Employees with a network of mentors have been found to have better long-term prospects and performance than those without.
These employees may have a mentor who can help them by providing feedback, guidance, motivation, and inspiration as this person(s) can also help them pinpoint their talent and allows the employee to understand the culture of the company.
What they do
Mentors who are briefed on how to manage a new hire’s transition into the organization can make it an easier process which may not only increase team performance but also increase the chances of future promotions.
For this reason, all companies should try to find suitable mentors for each new hire as they enter their first few weeks of work.
3 Tips to Building a Network of Mentors Around You
This post describes three initial steps that you can take to build a network of mentors and expose yourself to coaching opportunities.
1. Find your network
2. Find a mentor for yourself
3. Work closely with your mentor over time
Find your network: The first step is finding people in your company who might also be looking for great mentorship opportunities, whether it’s peer-to-peer or more formal mentorships with people like managers, directors, and senior leaders within the company.
Find a mentor for yourself: The second step is finding someone in the outside world who has the skills and expertise you’re looking for. Depending on what you’re looking to learn, this person can be a professional, colleague, or even family member.
Set up your meetings: The third step is setting up meetings with your mentors — for meetings that last at least 15 minutes. Keep in mind that a mentor is not your teacher (if you’re in high school) or a counselor (if you’re in college).
Additionally, it’s best to schedule one-on-one meetings with them so they can dive deep into their areas of expertise and educate you on what they do best.
The above are simple tips for building that ring of people whom you can trust and rely on for advice. However, to benefit fully from all the hard work, here are some actions to be taken.
Ask for advice: Once you meet with your mentors, ask them for advice about what they think you need to do to improve any area of business and leadership in your company. Tune into what they’re saying, and follow the advice you receive.
Network for the future: The fourth step is networking with your mentors when you need help in the future. Remember that mentors can be from anywhere; whether it’s someone you interned with or a friend of your parents who has a lot of great knowledge and experience to share, all are welcome to join your network!
But, don’t forget: During these meetings, make sure to get everything in writing so that you don’t have any questions about whether or not something was said.
The effect of mentorship at work
As an employee in an organization, having a mentor in your field of expertise helps you in the long run on your career path. Earlier you might have not been trained enough and you’ll be taken aback by certain work proceedings but mentors can help beginners in understanding the ropes.
Building a network of mentors around you will also help with critical tasks like gathering important data, analyzing it, and helping with finding solutions to difficult problems at hand.
The importance of having a mentor is to make sure that you are always learning new soft skills, and tackling new challenges which will in turn go a long way towards developing your skill set for future employability opportunities.
Mentors can also help with networking, given the fact that you’ll be able to meet more people and share your experiences with certain roles. This will ultimately lead to better jobs for yourself in the future.
Having a mentor is crucial to increase your chances of getting a job because companies want employees with skills and experience which will help them grow gradually as an organization. The maximum effort is put in if it is an experienced individual with high skills who knows what they are doing.
Developing Employee Networks – It is always important to have good people around you so that you learn from each other and get better at the same time.
Mentoring is a two-way street, and being a mentor requires just as much commitment and effort on the mentee’s part. Every mentoring relationship will be different, depending on the individuals involved.
Some Mentees grow by helping their mentor to become more knowledgeable in a certain area or look at something from new angles. Some Mentees learn to deal with specific issues by being assigned certain tasks. Some Mentees learn more as they help their mentors with certain events/tasks that they can help facilitate easier.