Are You Ready To Be A Mentor?
It’s fair to say that most of the world was fairly shaken up by the pandemic. From travel and logistics to our personal lives, we’re still sorting out the far-reaching implications.
One of the sectors that’s still regaining its footing is our professional one. We can see that a new balance is being struck between time at home and time at work, whether that’s from our own personal experiences or industry-wide forecasts, like this one from Forbes predicting 25% of all North American jobs will be remote by the end of this year.
With that change in where we work, will that also change how we work? One element that continues to be a significant part of work culture is mentorship. In fact, according to the 2022 Mentoring Report, 84% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.
Not all of us have the chance to work at Fortune 500 companies, though. And with the increase of more remote opportunities, many people may be moving to new companies without having the kind of one-on-one time that leads to the type of mentor-mentee relationships.
In light of that, it might be time to take it on ourselves. If you’ve ever benefited from having the concentrated time and attention from a mentor, or thought about how you might be able to help guide those new to your career field, then read on for four signs you’re ready to be a mentor in the workplace.
4 Signs You’re Ready To Be A Mentor
You’ve Got Experience (And You’ve Learned From It) - It’s one thing to have 15 years of experience in your field. It’s another thing to have sat with the mistakes you’ve made or the failures you’ve had a hand in and to understand your role in them. As shared in this Yahoo Finance article, mentoring is about showing an ability to learn, adapt, and grow.
You’re Got Time - No matter what your life situation - more experienced professional, happy retiree - you’ll want to ensure you have the time to take on this kind of relationship. Though how you define the time constraints (occasional emails, a weekly conversation, a monthly dinner) is up to you both, this relationship is a development opportunity that deserves an investment.
You’re Good With The Big Picture - In the business world, mentorship is about career development. It’s less about the short-term tasks or goals - that’s a responsibility reserved for the manager, writes Colleen Egan. Do you have experience, either personally or professionally, of taking a step back to take in a longer view? That will serve you well in guiding your future mentee.
- You’ve Looked Up Your Mentee - If you’ve got the first three down, you’re ready to be a mentor in the general sense. The other important part of the mentor-mentee relationship is, well, having the mentee. As Jim Lara of Gray Stone Advisors points out, you need to be the right fit for the person you’ll be mentoring. Do you know where they are in their career? Do they know where they want to go? And are you both equally committed to the process?
In a world that’s looking more and more different than it used to, there are still constants we can go to, like supporting our personal and professional communities.
Whether you’re in it for the long-term mentor-mentee relationship at work or you like stopping by local small businesses to do your shopping, those positive acts will add up and make our changing world all the more friendly.
How about you? How do you like to support those around you?