It's no secret that having a mentor can offer you professional guidance and insight, and even help you to build a more successful and satisfying career. But did you know that becoming a mentor to a less experienced colleague can be just as beneficial to your own career? Not only does mentoring allow you to help somebody else progress, it also gives you a great opportunity to refine your own skills – and you might even learn a thing or two along the way. If you haven't previously considered mentoring somebody professionally, we've put together a list of reasons why you should:
Become a better leader
You don't already need to be a leader to become a mentor, but becoming a mentor will help you to also become a leader. Whether you are helping your mentee decide on the best course of action or offering support, mentoring requires you to use leadership skills such as patience, problem solving and communication. Working closely with somebody as their mentor is the perfect opportunity to hone these skills and to figure out your unique leadership style.
Strengthen your existing skills and knowledge
The best way to reinforce skills and knowledge that you have already learnt is to teach them to somebody else, and being a mentor is a great way to pass on all of this wisdom. You might even find that it has been a few years since you learnt something yourself, and imparting this knowledge to your mentee can refresh and solidify your own understanding of it.
Learn new skills and knowledge
Believe it or not – mentoring can actually be a two-way learning street! Technology, skills and knowledge are constantly evolving in every industry – and if it has been a while since you completed your qualification, upskilling or training, it can be easy to fall behind on the latest trends. Your mentee might offer you some insight into the updated trends you might have missed, giving you the opportunity to brush up on your own industry knowledge and learn something new.
Expand your professional network
While you undoubtedly have already built a professional network at this stage of your career, mentoring can allow you to create new relationships through your mentee and their connections. If your mentee is younger than you, it is also a great opportunity to build contacts from a different generation.
Help your mentee's career
Finally, through investing your time into supporting and advising your mentee, you can positively impact on somebody else's career trajectory, progression and satisfaction. Although you will not be directly rewarded for their achievements, it is fulfilling to know you have played a key role in their professional development - and their successes will feel rewarding to you as well!
Being a mentor is rewarding. Just as rewarding as building your network of professional colleagues. Here are our top tips for networking.