A mentor is a person you choose to trust based on their experience, wisdom and willingness to help you in the enhancement of your personal and professional life. A mentor is someone who has lived some of the things you are going through and helps you make the most out of the situation by helping you recognize what you are doing right, what you have to adjust and how to best utilize your resources to receive the best possible yield out of your efforts. Mentors are a source of positive energy and attitude, as their outlook on life is always positive and they always help you look at the bright side of a situation and turn difficulties in learning opportunities by giving you direct and helpful feedback. Something else worth mentioning is that a mentor is always curious and inquisitive because they understand that they are not finished products either and that a constant search for self-improvement is a great example and a valuable lesson to teach those that follow them.
Here in Suzzanne Uhland’s Blog, we have talked about ways to become a mentor and even the way mentoring is being portrayed in the media lately. Today, we want to analyze the specific ways a mentor can help you boost your professional life and aid you on the pursuit of a more fulfilling and successful career.
One of the greatest things a mentor can do for you is to help you be objective about your shortcomings, weaknesses, and mistakes. It is very easy to identify these things on others, but quite difficult to see it within yourself due to your own perspective and personal attachment to your situation. A mentor works like a mirror that talks back to you and doesn’t simply commend you on your achievements, but also helps you identify areas that need improvement and attention. A mentor is always thinking about what is best for you and understands the importance of having an open and honest relationship with the mentee in order to help them achieve the very best version of themselves.
Providing feedback while helping identify areas that need improvement is just one of the many things a mentor can do for you. Just as important as this, is the search for knowledge by taking advantage of the mentor’s experience.
A mentor is a person who is more knowledgeable in the particular area of expertise by which he or she was chosen to lead, and therefore, that knowledge is to be transferred in many ways to their mentee. It is important to consider that mentors have also made mistakes and gone through a lot of learning before they could find themselves in the position of being a mentor to others. That experience and the way they have reacted to those mistakes is one of the most valuable lessons a mentor can share with their mentees because those hurdles are probably common to that particular profession or line of work.
Another aspect that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to the mentor and mentee relationship as well as the process as a whole, is the fact that a safe zone is provided for the mentees to decompress from their work environment and to talk about issues they may not be able to discuss with anyone else at work. It is no secret that work environment may be competitive and stressful environment and having a person available to talk to, to bounce ideas against and to turn to when searching for a fresh perspective can be extremely helpful. Some situations may be very sensitive to discuss with your boss or your co-workers, so turning to an outside perspective for advice is a great way to find possible solutions and to do so without risking possible negative consequences that may come from this.
A good mentor is also a positive role model. This qualification applies not only when it comes to the professional aspect of the individual, but also in the way they behave in general. Mentors are respected by the mentees and they look up to them in more ways than one. It is important for the mentor to not only upkeep that image but also find ways to create situations in which they can impart knowledge by allowing the mentee to develop specific skills and qualities that may help them emulate the way their mentors would handle a specific situation.
A mentor always has a plan, but better yet, helps the mentee create a plan together. These plans include short-term goals and long-terms goals as well.
Short-term goals are ways to focus your immediate attention on aspects that need attention right away. A short-term goal projects results to be expected quickly and clearly evident in the life of the mentee. Short-term goals are highly motivational because they help you see that the influence of the mentor is yielding results.
Long-term goals usually fix attention upon the future, the growth of the professional life of the mentee and the way future projects should be directed to make a true lasting change upon their development.