We all have aspirations and dreams. Do you have big ideas of where you would like to go and what you would like to do? Do you envisage yourself working in a fantastic new role or rising through the ranks to make it to the top of your chosen profession? Maybe you know what you want – but you’re just not sure how you’re going to get it. That’s where having a mentor can come in useful. Finding a good mentor could make all the difference to your professional and personal life. Let us explain how:
Gain Insight and Motivation
Build a good rapport with the right mentor and you will have someone to listen, someone to understand, and someone who can offer support and guidance. The right mentor will be able to lift your spirits when things aren’t going well and offer valuable insight to motivate and enthuse you.
Find Out What Makes You Tick
A good mentor will help you to look inside yourself (deep and meaningful as that may sound)! He or she can help you to identify your key skills and figure out what it is you’re passionate about. You might be unsure whether you are suited to your current role, or perhaps you like the job you’re in, but feel it’s time you moved up the ladder or explore different avenues within the company.
Identify Your Next Move
Whether this is an internal move within your organisation or a brand-new career, your mentor can work with you to plot the best way forward. This could involve embarking on training courses, brushing up on certain skills, researching different roles and looking at different job specifications.
Monitor Your Progress
You can plan your own milestones and mark your own achievements, but sharing your journey with another can be so much more empowering. A mentor will track your progress, helping you negotiate the ups and downs.
Let’s be honest, we all like a little praise now and then. Getting positive feedback from someone we look up to can spur us on and help us to achieve even more.
Learn How to Navigate Office Politics
A mentor can tell you all about the potential pitfalls of the working environment. Office politics can boost your career or reduce it to tatters, so it pays to get some help! Expect to deal with all sorts of characters, including over-bearing colleagues, those who do little work but like to take the credit, gossiping co-workers etc. Your mentor can provide you with valuable advice on how to deal with potentially explosive situations and navigate your way through.
Hone Your Skills
Your mentor is well-placed to help you to pinpoint your strengths and find ways in which you can improve even further. This could involve studying for a qualification or learning new practical skills. You can also ask your mentor to help identify ways to overcome barriers and address any weaknesses.
Improve Your Salary
Enhancing your skills will provide you will a sense of confidence, which in turn will empower you. This will give you the confidence to go and ask for the pay rise that you feel you deserve, or to approach a manager and request more responsibility. You might feel ready to go for a promotion or even to change your whole career. Climbing the career ladder will not only fill you with a sense of pride, but could also boost your bank balance. A better salary? Yes please!
Understand the Importance of Teamwork
Your mentor can give you invaluable tips on how best to engage with others. This could be your superiors, fellow colleagues or employees who report directly to you. It’s easy to feel like you are alone when you work in a busy role, but we are often surrounded by supportive co-workers and people we can link up with to make the day run a touch more smoothly. Your mentor will help you to understand the importance of teamwork and working well with others.
What Should I Look for In A Mentor?
A good mentor will possess a number of qualities:
· Ability to share their knowledge, skills and wisdom.
· Positive outlook.
· Keen to overcome obstacles and help source solutions.
· Empathic and genuinely interested in those they mentor.
· Open to new ideas and looking to evolve themselves.
· Able to provide constructive feedback.
· Respected by their peers.
· Good listener who values the opinions of others.
Do I Really Need a Mentor?
Do you feel you could benefit from having a mentor? Or perhaps you feel someone within your organisation would benefit from seeking the guidance of a proficient mentor? Finding someone sounds relatively easy, there are usually at least one or two people around you that you genuinely admire and look up to. You could approach these potential mentors and simply tell them that you would appreciate the opportunity to learn from them. However, there’s a difference between asking for casual advice and asking someone to mentor you.
Where Can I Find A Mentor?
Mentoring takes time and commitment, so rather than rely on a busy colleague to fit you in it might be a good idea to go to the experts. Companies such as Alifery provide mentors including former and current senior executives – and you can rest assured they have a wealth of knowledge to tap into. Let your mentor help you to realise your true potential.
“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.”
Ralph Waldo Emerso.