Mentors are an important part of career development. Their knowledge and experience can help you avoid making the mistakes they made and achieve your career goals. Mentorship is beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee. When utilized properly, it can be career-changing and life-changing. This article covers the importance of mentorship and how to find a mentor.
What Is a Mentor?
A mentor is an experienced and knowledgeable professional who gives an inexperienced person new insights into their career and personal life. A mentor can be a family member, friend, or industry icon.
A mentor works alongside their mentee to provide guidance, advice, knowledge, and personal and professional connections to help the mentee attain personal and career growth. A mentor can be found in workplace, academic, and industry settings and is usually a person that the mentee and others can trust in the field.
Importance of Mentorship
Mentorship is essential, especially for people looking to attain a certain career level. It provides various benefits that are invaluable for both career and personal growth. Some of the primary benefits of mentorship are listed below.
Access to Knowledge
A mentor is a person who is more knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced than you are. This means that they have a lot to offer you that will help to enhance your growth. They exist to imbibe invaluable knowledge that will help you avoid certain mistakes that can delay or stop your development.
They can show you the skills needed to excel in the field, what courses or training programs to take, or what industry events to attend. This knowledge can help speed up your career growth.
Achievable Career Goals
Setting career goals can make a huge difference in your career journey. Having a mentor will help you set SMART career goals. SMART career goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
As a beginner in the field, it may be difficult to identify the right path to success. A mentor may have a better understanding of what skills you need to build, job titles to strive for, and people you need to network with. This guidance will help prevent undue pressure because it will keep your career goals reasonable and achievable.
It is easy to set goals, but following the proper process and ensuring that you work hard towards achieving them may be difficult. This is where having a good mentor comes in. They help you remain accountable and encourage you to keep going even when it gets tough. They can also help you get back on track when you’re backsliding and having difficulties.
Building New Skills
Improving your soft and hard skills makes you more hireable and increases your professional value. However, it must be the right skills for your career path. You must understand what skills are required to advance in the industry and which skills will provide you with a competitive advantage. The right mentor will not only guide you in developing your skills but will also ensure that you gain the necessary hard and soft skills to stand out and achieve success.
One of the most important aspects of having a mentor is the feedback you get. A good mentor knows how to give constructive feedback that will aid your growth as a professional and personally. This will help you learn from your mistakes while also building your self-awareness.
Many young people struggle to build a professional network, especially if they are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many students are able to build industry connections through university and alumni programs, but with a degree from a private four-year institution costing an average of $51,690, this is not a resource most people have access to.
This is where a mentor can come in. Your mentor will have built a strong network of professionals in your field over the years, and will know the right people to introduce you to. Building relationships with others in your field is one of the best ways to climb the corporate ladder and achieve career success.
How to Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor who has the time and is a good fit for your needs can be challenging. You should consider certain factors before getting a mentor who can help you grow. A good mentor has to have the following:
- Successful career
- Strong network connections
- Similar career goals
- Good intentions
- Good listening skills
- Non Judgemental attitude
- Desire to help
When you find someone who has achieved your career goals, they should also have the qualities listed above as they determine what kind of experience you get with them.
To find a good mentor, you can do the following:
- Join a mentorship program.
- Reach out to successful people who have achieved your career goals.
- Join an industry community.
- Look to your seniors in the workplace.
Some colleges and coding bootcamps provide mentorship services to their students. Some coding bootcamps that do this are Thinkful, Flatiron, and Springboard.
Having a mentor can change the trajectory of your career. They are significant, as many successful people have mentors they admire. It isn’t surprising with the benefits you can get from a good mentor relationship. For those who attended a coding bootcamp or plan to attend, you can reach out to alumni or instructors for mentorship.