How mentoring can benefit both mentor and mentee | Professions

The right mentor can take your career to the next level. Even Warren Buffett – one of the most famous investors of all time – credits many of his achievements to his mentor, Benjamin Graham, who guided him on his path to success.

However, mentorship is not always a one-way street. While mentors benefit from the mentors’ knowledge and guidance, mentors often feel equally rewarded when they see protégés take their teachings and execute with them. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at what mentoring is and how it can benefit both parties.

What is Tutoring, and how does it work?

Mentoring is when someone with more knowledge and skills (the mentor) usually provides guidance and support to someone with less experience (the mentee). A mentor will often mentor the mentee and help them grow and achieve their goals, whether professional, academic or personal.

Formal Tutoring

Mentoring programs in formal settings such as the workplace provide an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and skills. For example, a mentor-mentee relationship between a senior software engineer and a junior engineer might include weekly check-ins. In these meetings, the mentor can discuss the details of the work projects with their mentee and provide feedback on the tasks completed or strategies for tackling future tasks.

Informal tutoring

Informal mentoring outside the workplace is usually less structured and more organic. For example, if you’re an aspiring chef, your mentor could be a seasoned home cook in your circle who can show you the ropes. Or, if you are a first-year medical student, you can seek mentorship from a fourth-year medical student and meet once a month to touch base and discuss course-related topics.

Benefits of being a mentor

Mentoring relationships are usually mutually beneficial, and mentors often find that they learn from their mentees in a different way. If you’re thinking about becoming a tutor, here are some reasons why it might be a good idea:

Enhanced leadership skills

Mentoring is a great way to develop and improve your leadership skills. By taking on the role of a mentor, you will gain valuable insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a leader as you go through a dynamic process of teaching and exchanging ideas with your mentor. You’ll also develop confidence and empathy that will enable you to better lead a team in the future.

Gaining New Perspectives

Mentors provide invaluable support and guidance to mentees eager to learn a new skill or trade. However, as a mentor, it’s easy to get stuck in your own ways after working in a specific industry for so long. In this case, being a mentor can inject fresh ideas into the conversation, challenging you to think beyond what you know and consider new perspectives.

Increased happiness and sense of purpose

The saying “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving” is true. Research by psychologists at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has found that we experience longer-lasting happiness by giving to others instead of receiving

By imparting your knowledge to mentors in need, you can not only help them in their positive growth, but also create a new purpose and happiness in your life. Rachel Neill, CEO of Carex Consulting Group, wrote in an email: “Mentoring brings me joy and fills me with purpose. It helps me achieve a different kind of success, one that cannot be measured by awards, wins, contracts and income.” .

Benefits of being a mentee

Many preach the importance of having a mentor. But what are the benefits, and how does being a mentor help unlock your potential?

Having the right orientation

Without guidance, it’s easy to take wrong paths and waste precious time on your journey to success. Having a mentor gives you a leg up because they can help you identify blind spots and show you where to focus your energy. And while many people find success on their own, having a mentor can accelerate your progress and cut months (or even years) off the learning curve.

So if you’ve been struggling to get ahead in your career or other endeavors, consider finding a mentor who can point you in the right direction.

Extended Network

One of the most important benefits of being a mentor is having access to the network of mentors they’ve built over their careers. A mentor’s contacts are like gold. Jeroen De Koninck, founder of career accelerator Preppally and mentor who helps young professionals get jobs at top tech companies, for example. google, he knows all that well. He’s seen how connecting his mentors with their contacts allowed them to unlock job opportunities they never would have otherwise.

“Most of my mentors are very talented,” says De Konincke. However, coming from less privileged backgrounds, they often “don’t have direct access to the social network that can help them land their dream jobs.” To level the playing field, De Koninck uses his connections to open doors for his mentors and advance their careers.

An Insider’s Look at a Desired Role or Company

A mentor is worth having if you want to break into a new career field or move to a new company. Kirk Hazlett, a professor of communication at the University of Tampa, says mentors can give them an “inside look into the role and organization” they want to join.

“Because every organization differs in often unseen but set expectations,” having a mentor who has worked in a specific company or role gives you insight into the position you want. Think of it like you’re getting the inside scoop.

How to start a Mentoring Program

Starting a mentoring program can be a great way to give back to your community. Before jumping in, take some time to think about how you want the program to work.

For example, will there be applications or interviews for potential mentors? What is the primary method of communication between you and the tutors? How many tutors can you take on at one time? What is the main focus of the mentoring program and what goals do you want to achieve? Answering these questions will help you better plan the structure of your program.

How to find a mentor

Before you find a mentor, be clear about what you want to get out of this experience. Looking for knowledge about a specific career path or industry, or need an accountability partner to help you achieve your goals? Once you’ve done that, start making contacts who have experience and expertise in the field you’re interested in.

Then put yourself there. Connect with potential mentors on LinkedIn and start building a relationship with them. Remember, don’t immediately ask the person to become your mentor in your first message, as it can be predictable. Focus on introducing yourself and showing a genuine interest in what they do. You can also find offline mentors by attending networking events in your area of ​​interest.

Mentoring is a win-win relationship

A successful mentor-mentee relationship can benefit both parties: mentors gain knowledge, connections, and support that textbooks or online tutoring wouldn’t, and mentees find a sense of purpose and improve soft skills while imparting knowledge. So if you’re ready to take your career or other pursuits to the next level, consider finding or becoming a mentor, who could be the catalyst you need.

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