Last week, I met a friend who works with a mentorship partnering program and her organization helps people by finding them mentors who are experts in the same profession or industry. I am a true advocate of mentorship and conversation with her opened discussion on why and how of mentorship. I wish to share it with here so that next time we approach the concept with a better understanding. Starting a new job or making a career transition could be stressful, mentorship programs support this progression. Some things to consider about mentorship –
Mentoring is not about job, it’s about career
You mentor is not a step to your next job. A mentor is expected to understand your interest, learn your strengths and prepare you to overcome your shortcomings so that you can progress in your career. But is you are only looking for someone who could help you get a job, you are not utilizing the partnership to its best. It’s your chance to know the profession you are in so that you can excel in any role that you take now or later.
Mentoring is not dependency, its guidance
As a mentee, you have to be professional and well prepared to seek ideas, network and knowledge from your mentor. Mentors can offer guidance, share experiences but they don’t want you to follow their career path or be like them. Their role is to encourage and assist you, not direct you. You are expected to take charge of your career and reach to your mentor for Support, feedback and advice.
Mentoring is not always in career crises
You can benefit from mentorship at any point of your career. I personally believe that digital technology and social media has given a wider and broader reach to the concept of mentorship. You can connect with anyone in any part of the world by following them on social media, connecting with them thorough visual media like Skype or hangouts and learn from their success stories.
“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” Plutarch
That’s why mentorship is important; it finds the passion in you and ignites your mind with experience, enabling you to follow your path in the light. But before you look for a mentor, ask yourself – why do you need a mentor, whom you are looking up to be your mentor and what you wish to gain from them?
I have recently registered for a formal mentorship program and am excited to begin another earning journey. If you have an experience to share on mentorship, do post in comments. I will be happy to hear more thoughts on the topics.