The Importance of Mentorship
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, “women who found mentors through formal programs were 50 percent more likely to be promoted than women who found mentors on their own.”
However, having the right mentor goes beyond the pay check. Benefits include helping identify your hidden strengths, gaining valuable insights about your career, and increasing your visibility within your company and network.
According to a Forbes article titled, The often overlooked but invaluable benefits of mentorship, it can also help strengthen or build your leadership skills.
First things first, who’s my mentor?
In order to get the most from a mentor relationship, you first need a mentor. Ways in which you can get a mentor include a program offered at work or an industry association or approaching one of your contacts.
You might already have a mentor and not even know it! Do you know someone who has extensive knowledge in your area of interest, a keen interest in your growth, and can provide unsolicited feedback? If you answered yes to the above— eureka, that’s your mentor.
I have a mentor, what now?
- Know what you want and ask for it: before talking to your mentor, figure out what you want from the relationship by developing measurable goals. Once developed, clearly communicate your goals to them. Make sure to revisit your goals throughout the process to ensure your tracking towards them.
- Be proactive: the success of this relationship relies on you. Take responsibility and make sure you schedule regular meetings with your mentor. This will go a long way to also build rapport with them. Be consistent and be prepared for every meeting. Make sure you do your homework by reading about your mentor and learn about their company.
- Be transparent and genuine: don’t pretend to be perfect and have all the answers. In fact, be upfront with what is making you feel uneasy and openly discuss your challenges. When you do open up, make sure you listen and take their feedback gracefully. The only way to grow is to listen and be open-minded. This whole process is about self-discovery.
This article was written by Mishka Alarcon, Marketing Manager at Trindent Consulting. She develops marketing tools and resources for the firm to increase brand awareness and market share.