Identifying the Benefits of Mentoring

Image courtesy of chichacha's photostream

Image courtesy of chichacha’s photostream

The professional landscape is ultra-competitive, saturated with hundreds of thousands of eager college grads entering the market each year. While this may make it more difficult to identify entry-level career opportunities it does make for a rich environment for networking and mentorship. Not to mention that, due to the economic downturn several years back and longer life expectancies than years past, many professionals from the Veteran and Baby Boom eras still maintain full-time status.

So what does this mean? Many individuals in today’s workplace are looking to share their knowledge and, vice versa, many are interested in learning from season’s professionals. An important aspect to professional development and expansion is to engage in mentorship. Mentorship can be as simple as to two individuals connecting regularly to have discussions but is not limited to mentoring programs sponsored by large corporate entities or networking communities.

Here are several reasons to participate in mentorship opportunities whether it be on the giving or receiving end.

1.    Guidance – As a young professional, it is sometimes difficult to find your way in the workplace. You may need to talk to someone about work but your friends, parents, or supervisor might not be the appropriate person to approach. Let’s face it; it’s hard at times, frustrating even, and knowing how to handle different scenarios takes experience. The type of guidance a mentor can provide.
2.    Giving Back – Experienced professionals have seen it all. From client explosions to issues with workplace culture. They may not have all the answers but at least they can provide some insight as to how tension is defused. Explosions take a delicate approach and touch. Not something you learn overnight, but rather something that is picked up and tweaked over years of service.
3.    Networking – No matter how you look at it, mentors where at some point entry-level. And they haven’t forgotten that. In year’s past they were introduced to someone who undoubtedly impacted their career, and in turn, will to do the same for you. And get this, they don’t even charge for it. Mentors typically want to pay it forward in the hopes that a good mentee will do the same down the road. Ask your mentor about networking opportunities in your area, or which groups they belong too. There’s a lot of opportunity out there, and in the words of my mentor, “You can’t do it alone.” Something to definitely think about.

•    The Generation Gap, Proforma Blog:
•    The 4 Most Important Reasons You Need to Become a Mentor,
•    6 Reasons You Need a Mentor,
•    7 Key Qualities of an Effective Mentor,

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