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Advice for Mentees
Top Signs That You Need a Career Mentor
According to a survey—75% of professionals deem their career success as a result of the help and guidance they received from their mentors. This statistic shows how beneficial a mentoring program can be, and companies worldwide are designing and implementing mentoring into their cultures to reap those benefits.
In fact, 92% of all Fortune 500 companies have implemented a mentoring program. This is because mentoring is proven to increase profits, but moreover, it positively impacts employees’ performance, confidence, satisfaction, and retention rates.
These aspects combined create a company culture that promotes engagement and communication and provides equal career growth opportunities for all. So having a mentor guide you through your career can be highly beneficial as they can chalk out a pathway for you to follow and guide you through difficult decisions.
This guide will discuss the benefits of having a career mentor, why you should opt to be part of a mentoring program, and how you can look for a mentor that best suits you.
What is a career mentor?
A career mentor is someone who has more experience and expertise in their field. Their responsibility is to guide new hires or present employees towards their goals. It can be anything from improving their communication skills to availing promotion opportunities or managing their work-life balance.
Since mentors are generally more experienced employees that have been through the hurdles the new generation is experiencing—they can provide valuable insight and guidance on how to deal with issues and make the best of the situation.
This doesn’t mean that the relationship between a mentor and mentee is strictly professional. A mentor can be a friend and an ally that can act as an anchor when times are turbulent, and having someone like that in your corner can do wonders for employees’ morale and confidence.
📖 Find out more about what a mentor is in our guide 📖
How do I know if I need a career mentor?
Everyone needs help and guidance at one point or another. However, there are some factors that you can consider before applying to be a part of a mentorship program.
If you’re struggling with any of the below, you may want to find a career mentor:
1. Low confidence
Confidence is an important attribute that can be highly beneficial in the workplace or daily life. Conversely, a lack of confidence can be detrimental to performance, and poor performance can lead to low satisfaction and poor results, hindering your growth.
However, this is something natural, many people experience it, but it’s not without a solution. Having a mentor guide and push you to do better and find opportunities, network with others, and step out of your comfort zone can help increase or regain confidence.
2. Feeling as if you’ve plateaued
The higher you climb the ladder, the tougher the challenges get, and being ill-prepared to face them results in you feeling stagnated in your career. This feeling is normal, especially today, where the competition to excel is exceptionally high, and constant pressure exists to do better.
A mentor can help you deal with these feelings and guide you towards achieving your goals. They can answer any queries, help you choose the best action, and provide much-needed support.
3. Unclear about your goals
Having a clear goal is vital to career growth and success. Individuals with goals are ten times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. However, just setting goals isn’t enough—following through and setting milestones is also essential.
By being part of a mentoring program, you can receive help in creating SMART goals, planning an outline, setting milestones, and receiving guidance on how to follow through so that you can achieve them and progress forward.
📖 Find out more about how to set goals and actually achieve them in our guide 📖
4. Stuck in a loop
Daily office work can be repetitive, and it’s easy to get swept up and lose sight of your goals and ambitions. It can be challenging to break out of a monotonous routine as it becomes part of your comfort zone, but that has more negative effects than positive ones.
Receiving help and support from someone with more experience can help employees deal with breaking out of this loop by providing a new perspective on how things are and how they can be. In addition, doing so can reinvigorate morale and determination to do better and branch out.
5. Need to expand your network
Networking can provide excellent opportunities that can be beneficial to career growth. However, it requires one to step out and make themselves available, with good communication skills and know-how of different companies and cultures.
By utilising the benefits of a mentorship program—mentees can learn from their mentors, improve their communication and networking skills and ask their mentors to introduce them to their network.
Organisations are often aware of the benefits of a well-developed mentoring program and actively seek to implement and improve it—providing employees with ample opportunities to become a part of a mentoring program.
There are several different ways to find a mentor, these include:
Internal mentoring programs
Since both the mentor and mentee are part of the same company, internal mentoring programmes can be an excellent source for finding a mentor that best suits your needs and understands your ambitions and goals.
Mentors know the organisation’s inner workings and what challenges new or present employees can face, so they can better guide them towards reaching their goals, expanding their horizons, and learning new skills to help them in the future.
So, if your employer has set up a mentoring program, make sure you make the most of that resource!
External mentoring programs
New or smaller organisations, often do not have the resources to spare for internal mentoring or enough mentors and mentees to make it work. This is where an external program comes in.
These may be set up by an external body or several companies coming together to offer this benefit to their people. Either way, look out for established programs in your industry. Often external programs support people from specific groups such as our client Reed who run the women in technology mentoring program.
These programs are an excellent opportunity to find mentors from a different field that will provide an out-of-the-box perspective and bring different experiences to learn from.
Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and you find that the answer was there all along. Asking your colleagues and friends for mentorship opportunities inside and outside your company can open multiple pathways. Reaching out to people on LinkedIn or through your personal network is a great way to meet relevant guides.
You can also ask if anyone of them or their colleagues have experienced having a mentor, and if they have, asking for their recommendations can drastically decrease your search for one.
Ask your employer to help you
At times the direct approach is the best; asking for mentorship opportunities directly from your manager or department head can present multiple results.
Being clear about your goals and asking for their help can be beneficial as they’re senior employees of the company and have a better understanding of your situation and can guide you towards the right person, or they might even take you under their wing.
It could also be the catalyst your employer needs to start a formal mentoring program. Bringing other like-minded people together to ask for this together could bring about lasting change in your organisation.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the benefits of having a career mentor to guide you through and why you should have one. Mentoring doesn’t stop with just learning and growing; it has a domino effect as the mentee becomes a mentor, and the chain continues, which develops a positive culture for the next generation.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of implementing a mentoring system in your organisation, book a demo.