The Benefits of Having A Mentor

Mentor

The workplace can be a competitive place, encouraging many of us to hold our cards close to our chest when it comes to planning our career path.

Utilising the experience and knowledge of those gone before us can be a game-changer in climbing the workplace ladder. Having the right person in your corner with whom you can share your aspirations, your frustrations and your short-comings will only help to shape and drive your career to new heights. Taking on board the input and guidance of an experienced mentor to help navigate your career path by nurturing your objectives and providing alternative perspectives and insights can only work in your favour.

These relationships can occur organically but some need to be sought out and developed. We all have people whom we respect and look up to and letting them know this is a great way to kick off a mentor/mentee rapport. The benefits are endless but here are a few that will impact you hardest and fastest!

Goal setting

We all have goals but prioritising the immediate versus the longer term can be challenging when we’re hungry to get things happening. Mapping out realistic and strategic goals will give you a renewed perspective on what career progression really means.

Challenging your perceptions

When we’re at the bottom looking up, our view on the company and how things work might be skewed. A mentor might have bigger insights that they are able to share, giving you the intel you need to navigate the workplace to your best interest. Things are never as simple as they seem so challenging the way we perceive different people and situations in order to maintain an objective and broad view is always important.

The calm in the storm

Stress affects everyone differently. It can be corrosive and truly detrimental if not handled correctly. There is no greater gift than being able to voice your stresses and air all your concerns to the right sounding board. There may not be any ready-made solutions on hand but a knowing and empathetic ear will provide invaluable support in your time of need.

Blind spots

Sometimes when we’re really close to a situation it's difficult to see things as objectively as we should. We might overlook the positives of a scenario or worse yet gloss over the negatives. Having someone with only your best interests at heart will be able to see the situation for what it is and point out the blind spots being overlooked. Like any good coach, they will see notable mistakes you're making and hopefully offer some tips on how to correct them.

Network access

All those additional years in the work place would have given your mentor access to a myriad of industry movers and shakers. There is no downside plugging into their broader network and exposing yourself to that kind of invaluable experience.

Cheerleader

Having the reassurance of someone older and wiser telling you you’re doing the right thing or heading in the right direction or making the best move provides incomparable motivation. At times the workplace can be an oppressive and stressful environment so who wouldn’t want the positive backing from someone senior? An encouraging nod from the right person will hopefully invigorate a fire in your belly like no other.

The time and energy it takes to foster the right mentor relationship will deliver ten fold in the years and wealth of knowledge it supplies. Take the time to seek out the best person for where you are now in your career and kick-start a refreshing revolution on your nine-to-five.

James Lewis

Vanna co-founder and employer branding expert

4 min read

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