Why You Should Mentor

When we’re thinking about asking for a raise or transitioning into another career, having a mentor can be a lifesaver. And it’s not just the protégé that benefits from the relationship either. Mentorships are two-way streets that can help everyone reach their full potential.

Five years ago, CNN reported on research conducted by Sun Microsystems. The company analyzed the advancement of 1,000 employees over a five year period. They found that mentors and mentees were 20 percent more likely to get a raise than those who didn’t participate in a mentorship. Why is this?

A mentor also called a teacher or coach provides the protégé with wisdom. They encourage mentees to develop clear career goals.  With a career adviser on hand, a newcomer in the business can be introduced to important people and possibly attend special gatherings. For a teacher, a protégé offers a chance to expand their network, further develop their leadership skills and give back in a meaningful way. This is a great opportunity to practice Mindful Work™.

If you’re looking for a mentor consider these suggestions:

  1. What type of coach or teacher are you looking for? Do you want someone who was once in your position or someone who’s in different career field that you hope to transition to? Also, know what you hope to learn from your mentor.
  2. Finding a mentor. This requires some leg work. Ask around, do some research and check to see if there is a mentor program at your place of work.
  3. Properly present yourself. Impress a potential coach or teacher. Boast on all the things you have accomplished thus far and your plans for the future.
  4. Professional vs. personal. Get to know your mentor personally as well as professionally and don’t forget to thank them for their help.

If you’re thinking about mentoring here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Making time. Being a mentor means investing a lot of time in someone else’s career. Make sure you have enough time to commit to the responsibility.
  2. Helping vs. telling. Your advice will be greatly appreciated, but don’t go overboard. There’s a fine line between encouraging someone to make a decision and deciding for them.
  3. Give and receive. Remember that a mentorship is an exchange of information. Keep track of what you have learned through the experience.