Centuries have passed since the day that, according to legend, Odysseus left for the Trojan War entrusting the education of his son to his friend, Mentor. Mentor became his tutor and trusted advisor, giving his name to this practice. Since then and to this day, the importance of mentorship has been growing exponentially.
A recent survey by Olivet Nazarene University found that 97% of professionals who have a mentor believe they are valuable and made an immense impact in their lives, but only 37% of professionals have one. There is this huge portion of people who are missing out on the benefits mentors bring to the table.
There’s probably been plenty of moments in your life where you’ve leaned on someone you trust for advice or guidance. There is a good chance that you’ve had a mentor and maybe not realized it. It is now time to be proactive and find a mentor who can help you get to the next level of your career.
What is a Mentor?
If you look it up in the dictionary, a mentor is defined as an experienced and trusted advisor, someone there to help you to achieve your short and long-term goals. The power that mentorship can have on your career is invaluable. Having someone to help you navigate some of the key parts of your career will make a huge difference and will open doors along the way.
At any stage of a career, we can always use help to improve what we do. There isn't one path to success, despite the fact that many people think that there is. At each junction, there are many possibilities and ways to proceed. A mentor gives you someone to talk to when you're trying to make a decision about which way to go. You will have someone to turn to when you are considering your options. A mentor can give you the tools to make the right decision.
This in no way means they have all the answers, but they are able to guide their mentee based on their knowledge and their own failures. A mentor will teach you from his failures, explain to you what they did wrong so you won’t make the same mistakes.
They will help you through the learning circle, again and again, until you learn and grow from it.
A mutually beneficial relationship
Mentoring is a reciprocal flow of giving and receiving. When mentors give advice and guidance to their mentees, they receive all of those things in return.
There is this quote by St Francis of Assisi that says “It is in the giving that we truly receive.” That quote truly applies to mentoring. It's give-and-take on both sides. Most mentors have that Pay it Forward mentality, they want to help shape tomorrow’s leaders. As a professional, mentoring is one of the most rewarding and impactful activities you can engage in.
Someone who’s had a mentor before is more likely to mentor themselves. According to the Harvard Business Review (2015), 89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others. It is an endless circle of knowledge.
Mentorship is an ongoing process
As we move through different stages of our lives and careers, our needs change. The mentor you have today may not be the mentor you need for tomorrow. The good news is that, while mentorship is more important now than ever before, there has also never been a better time to connect with each other. With many of us working from home, we’re more flexible with when and how we’re able to connect. In this time of isolation, a mentor is an opportunity to talk about everything you’re going through with someone who has been there.
The importance of mentors is undeniable. They are crucial for so many reasons, but essential for providing knowledge, motivation, advice, and encouragement when you need it most.
Join Upnotch today and find your mentor!