Mentorship is an age-long practice that can be seen in different aspects of life. Some of the most successful career and business professionals have given credit to their mentors for the support they received that took them to that level. If you are a young person who is trying to start your career and are eager for some guidance, this article is for you. It covers everything you need to know about mentorship.
What Is Mentorship?
In the career world, mentorship is a term used to describe the relationship between an experienced person in a field who is imparting knowledge and providing advice to a less-experienced individual. The mentor provides career guidance based on their extensive experience to the mentee.
While the mentor is traditionally older than the mentee, this isn’t always the case. What is more important than age is the wealth of knowledge that the mentor has. Your mentor can be someone in your family, a friend, or someone in your field that you look up to.
According to Forbes, employees with a mentor are promoted five times as often as those without. Having a mentor to help you navigate the complicated corporate world can certainly be beneficial to your career prospects.
Why Do You Need a Mentor?
You need a mentor to show you the ropes in your field when you have little to no experience. Beyond providing professional advice, a mentor may also help you work on your networking skills and introduce you to other experts in your field who can help you grow professionally.
You can get a mentor when you are about to transition into a new career path. For example, a person who just learned software engineering at a coding program, such as a Thinkful, Flatiron School, or General Assembly bootcamp may benefit from a mentor in the tech industry. General Assembly reviews frequently discuss how useful the school’s career services can be in helping recent graduates network and meet experts in their field.
Apart from providing professional knowledge, mentors also encourage, giving mentees the morale and confidence they need to chase their dreams. They provide valuable feedback and offer constructive criticism when necessary.
If you have difficulty setting goals or holding yourself accountable, having a mentor is a good idea. Mentors are usually patient and can help you improve your self-confidence.
Where Can You Find a Mentor
There are three major types of mentoring. These are group mentoring, traditional face-to-face mentoring, and distance mentoring. Irrespective of the type of mentoring you are interested in, you need to make sure that you find someone who is a good fit for your personality, career goals, and values. Below are some common ways to find a mentor:
1. Attend Professional Events
One of the best ways to meet experienced people in your field is to attend industry events. Go to seminars, launches, and any other event that allows you to interact with others and build a network. For example, if you just graduated from a cyber security bootcamp, you can attend a professional event for cyber security experts.
You can establish a relationship with someone you admire and take their contact information so you have a direct line with them later. After establishing a degree of familiarity, simply ask the person if they are interested in mentoring you.
2. Check Online Mentorship Networks
You can find mentors online through mentorship networks that are designed specifically to link experienced mentors to aspiring mentees. Some of the most popular sites for meeting mentors are Mentor Cruise, Mentoring.org, and Find a Mentor. When you use these sites, you will need to fill out the information about your field so you can be paired with the right fit.
3. Follow Mentors on Social Media
Thanks to social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can learn a lot about a person’s professional life without interacting with them directly. Most industry leaders use social media to showcase their brand, network, or advertise their portfolios.
You can find out if the person replies to messages, how they interact, and what others are saying about them. If the data you have gathered tells you their character is good, send a message to introduce yourself. You can ask if they are interested in grabbing coffee with you and answering your questions about their industry.
Having a mentor is worth it for anyone who needs guidance and doesn’t have the experience required to navigate industry. However, it is not compulsory to have a mentor to succeed. You can still learn by yourself by attending the right online classes and building your professional network without any direct influence from a mentor.
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