I recently had the opportunity to speak with a couple of classes at SAIT who are on the verge of graduating. Thinking back to that time in my life I can recall that I didn’t really have the opportunity to get exposure to professionals in my discipline in that way. This is why mentoring can be such an important part of personal development not only for the mentee but for the mentor as well.
Benefits for the Mentee
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Depending on the course you are taking you will likely be exposed to all manners of skills and potential careers types. You won’t have everything figured out, loads of people who have been in industry for years still haven’t. A mentor is a great way to bounce ideas around and ask questions about the industry that the mentor is in that you will be planning to enter.
If you’re reading this article it is likely that this is the result of seeing it through some social networking platform. Mentors can help mentees network within their established colleagues to broaden their exposure to those in the field of work they are planning to enter.
The mentor will have the ‘been there, done that’ exposure that many mentees are looking for. This is not to say that the mentor has to have a certain amount of years under her belt, rather quite the contrary. Having a couple of different mentors will allow the mentee to get different perspectives on a variety of situations.
Benefits for the Mentor
The initial reason that people will say that they mentor others is to give back to their industry. While important there are several other benefits to being a mentor.
Improves Coaching Skills
Mentoring actually gives you the opportunity to stretch your skills when it comes to coaching, management and leadership. Whether you are in a role that requires this skill or not, mentoring is a great way to exercise this.
Mentoring is a great way to see the new talent coming out of school, working with people will broaden you network as well. After all you never know perhaps you will work with or for you mentee at some point.
The mentee will likely have piles of questions starting with ‘why?’ being challenged on the way that you do things from time to time is a great way for you to do a little reflection on your activities and see if they are still valid
Whether a mentor or a mentee, the activity of mentoring has mutual benefits for all involved. It will enhance your professional network while helping those looking to get into your industry build their career as well.
Take the time to connect and mentor with someone today.