Before there were universities, books, or YouTube videos there were mentors to pass on knowledge. Mentors have existed since Ancient Greek times and are a precious source of knowledge and guidance. Mentoring has the power to accelerate self-development, career progression, and overall confidence.
Speed up the learning process
In both our business and personal lives, we should all be seeking to develop our skills, trying to learn new things, and challenging ourselves every day. One of the best things about mentors is that they turbo-charge your ability to learn new skills. Why? A mentor will already have been in your position, so they can give you tips on how to learn necessary skills faster. They can point out your blind spots and identify areas where you need to improve, which will speed up your learning process.
Gain access to expertise outside your own
Mentors are a fantastic way to gain insight into where your career may be headed. Mentorship provides a safe space to learn, experiment, ask questions and discuss out-of-the-box ideas. It’s a way to soak up the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Hearing about how they navigated their careers will help you with your own.
Having more than one mentor is also ideal. Like most people, every mentor has an area of expertise. If you work with multiple mentors, you'll be in a position to get help in all areas of your life, not just one or two.
Learn from your mentor’s mistakes
Chances are your mentor has been exactly where you are right now. They have already put in the blood, sweat, and tears to build their careers. You can learn from that. Smart people learn from their own mistakes. But the smartest people learn from other people's mistakes. Learn from your mentor's mistakes and avoid wasting time making the same ones.
Get constructive feedback
Mentorship is a crucial avenue for receiving important and honest feedback. A good mentor will tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not. They will shine a light on the dark corners of your life and help you find the best in yourself and become better than you ever thought you could be.
Now, taking feedback is no easy task. The feeling of being exposed and discussing your weaknesses can be frightening and uncomfortable. But being able to receive constructive feedback will help you develop new skills more quickly and efficiently, empowering you to be more engaged in your own development.
Get invaluable networking opportunities
Building lasting, supportive relationships with people who share a common interest is not quick but it can be simple. Be honest, be open, be sincere, and soon you'll find yourself with a solid network that can help tip the scales in your favor.
In short, mentorship speeds everything up - you can learn faster, avoid mistakes, try new ideas... Essentially, you shorten your learning curve.