There isn’t anyone who has found success that did not have mentors along the way.
Mentorships are the most valuable of relationships in one’s career. No training or coach can provide the value that a mentor does.
There is something about them setting aside valuable time to simply share what they know and help as much as they can, as a service to another … that forms a strong inspiration to both the mentee and the mentor.
- A mentor helps to independently view your career and related challenges in a non-biased, critical eye that is focused on serving your best interests.
- A mentor provides you with other perspectives, both people and situations, in challenges you deal with in your career and future path.
- A mentor reflects on your thoughts and attitudes towards your career to uncover areas of improvement and more importantly, areas of strength.
So, what are the characteristics of a good mentor?
- At least 10 years your senior
- Actively working or running their own business or consultancy
- Is within the same area of expertise
- Is generous with their time
- Flexible with communicating in person, over the telephone or email
- Commit to mentoring for a period of 6 months, meeting twice a month
- International exposure in their career (if possible)
- Someone who inspires you
You can have more than one mentor at a time to cover various avenues in your career, however, it is from my experience that one at a time serves your interests better.
From high school to even those who are home or retired, seek out a mentor today! From within your network of family and friends, your Alma Mater’s mentoring program, or other expertise focused mentoring programs.
And for those who are working, avoid work related mentorship programs, why? Check out Mentor role #1.
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