Mentorship pertains to departing tried-and-tested knowledge, experience, and skills to someone who needs guidance in their career. The importance of mentorship can be calculated by how employees or professionals engage with their peers or network and how they run their business effectively. The effects that mentorship brings to the table are reflected in how mentees grow personally and professionally. This is the reason why most successful people stress how important mentorship is.
And did you know that the National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard School of Public Health coined the “National Mentoring Month” in 2002? This event aims to raise awareness of the importance of mentorship and promote it within organizations. One of the National Mentoring Month goals is to also invite more mentors for young professionals.
One of the key points in ensuring that the mentorship program is successful is selecting the appropriate mentor. Spotting a good mentor would entail some of, but not limited to, these characteristics:
- Senior employee or leader
- Seasoned and experienced in their field
- Good reputation
- Enthusiastic with good communication skills
- Has a repertoire of skills, tips, and proven methods
Advancing in your career would require a lot of guts, the right mindset, unwavering willpower, and resilience. And without a doubt, mentorship programs will help you kickstart this journey to progress and development. If you’re still unconvinced, read these 12 reasons why you must start working with a mentor right away.
1. Source for knowledge and information
When graduating fresh from college or running a new business venture, you’ll undeniably get lost. It’s also inevitable to get stuck in limbo and have no one to turn to for fresh suggestions and perspectives. And this is where the importance of a business mentor will slowly sink in. You’d want a senior leader or employee who has ample experience in their field. Throughout those years of failing and redeeming themselves, they’ve learned some industry tips and hacks as well as gathered enough knowledge and information to help you rise to the occasion.
2. Widens your professional network
As responsible mentees, choosing the right mentor is pivotal in a successful and efficient mentorship. Choose someone with a good reputation and someone with a proven track record. Considering these factors means you’re choosing a mentor who has worked with a couple of businesspeople before. And before you know it, your mentor will introduce you to like-minded individuals or entrepreneurs that will play vital roles in your career development.
3. You’ll have a trusted ally
Running a new business alone can become lonely. The isolation will take its toll on you emotionally, mentally, and physically, especially if you’re bearing down all the weight on your shoulders. It can become depressing and frustrating having no one to talk to and ask for opinions. And that’s why we’ve stressed the importance of mentorship, especially for sole proprietors and young professionals. You’ll have a trusted ally you can always turn to who will not judge you for whatever it is you’re feeling, experiencing, or doing. Plus, a trusted ally will give you comfort that you’ll have someone to rely on when things get rough, at least.
4. Assimilate workplace culture
If you’re a young professional or new employee, being someone’s protege could be a quick and easy way to learn the company culture. You can assimilate the workplace values and culture fast as your mentor guides you through the ins and outs of the organization. Plus, this can boost employees’ confidence, considering they’re new to the company.
5. Have an active listener
It can be comforting to know you have former colleagues or friends you can turn to when you’re experiencing challenges in your new business venture. But, although these people might be willing to listen, spilling the beans to your mentor is a different ballgame. Mentors are there to actively listen to you and give you unbiased opinions on how to get over the difficulty. Plus, mentors will not reach a point where they’re tired of listening to you because it’s their job after all. So having a mentor means you have someone you can spill your heart out.
6. Helps develop skills
One of the reasons we believe in the importance of mentorship is skill development. Mentors are experienced in their field of work. And if you’re working with a mentor with a reputable name, you can be sure they’ll pass on their knowledge to you. This can be extremely helpful when learning new skills in your niche. Then, you can apply this acquired knowledge to your skill development training, practice, tests, and daily tasks.
7. They offer moral support
As a new business owner or employee, it can feel overwhelming not getting things done the way you want them to. This can be due to not knowing company policies well, not understanding the procedures, or the lack of a support system at work. Your mentor offers you moral support any time you need it. They encourage you to dust yourself up and not get sidetracked in reaching your goals.
8. Learn from mentors’ experience
The importance of mentorship in running a new business is critical, especially in a sole proprietorship business. Everything is new for you. From mistakes, challenges to achievements, and customer support, it can feel like you’ve dipped your toes in unknown waters. And since mentors likely have years of experience, they’ve tried various methods in getting through every business challenge. You can learn from their stories, experiences, and tips. This way, you can avoid making the same mistakes moving forward.
9. Encourage personal and professional growth
Mentors aren’t only there to help you grow professionally. However, mentors also act as your guide to personal growth. They don’t only teach you business skills. But they also impart the life skills and interpersonal skills needed to keep you in a healthy mental and emotional state.
10. Helps track progress
Along your career or business journey, there will come a point where you’re complacent with yourself. Never let complacency impede your career advancement. Down the road, you miss tracking your progress and revisiting your goals. Since you’re meeting with mentors regularly, this system can be an excellent way to track your progress. Mentors check in with you regularly to see if you’re still on track, which means a seamless journey.
11. Offers constructive criticism
Mentors are there to offer you constructive feedback to ensure that you’re not getting stuck in a rut. Sometimes you may feel that your efforts are enough or your strategies are up to par with standards. However, you need others’ perspectives to see things differently. Mentors provide you with unfiltered opinions and constructive feedback that let you stay on course.
We’re not only stressing the importance of mentorship due to the personal and professional benefits it brings. However, mentorship programs are also important because they serve as a cost-efficient guide to ensure that you run your business successfully or advance your career the way you want it to. Getting under someone’s wings won’t cost you a dime if you’re a new employee.
Some organizations offer mentorship programs, so take advantage of that. Moreover, if you want a more formal mentorship, you can always enroll in official mentorship programs that don’t break the bank. For instance, Super Scaling offers mentorship programs that will help you scale your business at affordable costs. Read more about it here.
Importance of Mentorship: Learn from the Most Successful Mentor-Mentee Partnerships
Even the most famous people in history consider the importance of mentorship. Some of these successful entrepreneurs have partnered with top business owners worldwide. Here are some examples of the most notable mentor-mentee partnerships in history.
Steve Jobs Mentoring Mark Zuckerberg
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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is grateful for his success to his long-time mentor, Steve Jobs. He claims that if you share your expertise with people, this can lead to new opportunities. He also thanked Steve Jobs in a Facebook post for “Showing that what you build can change the world.”
Zuckerberg’s net worth is around $33.3 billion. But the most significant achievement for the Harvard graduate was when he made $1.6 billion in a day! Both Jobs and Zuckerberg believed that their purpose goes beyond building successful businesses. However, they both believed in changing people’s lives.
Warren Buffet Mentoring Bill Gates
Image Credit: Time.com
The importance of mentorship boils down to who you select as your mentor. And Bill Gates has found a great mentor in the Berkshire Hathaway magnate, Warren Buffet. During a CBC interview, Gates said that Buffet teaches him how to handle challenging situations. Gates was also thankful for teaching him to focus on long-term goals, solutions, and systems.
The most notable lesson that Gates learned from Buffet is transforming complicated things into easy-to-understand forms. Of course, Warren Buffet aims to make people understand his business methods in simple forms, so they learn from his experience. But, on the other hand, Buffet also revered Gates as someone who knows how to use his accumulated wealth to benefit society.
Sir Freddie Laker Mentoring Richard Branson
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Richard Branson says that the first step in matching with the perfect mentor is considering the importance of mentorship. He claims that you must first believe how a mentor can benefit you, your personal and professional development, and your business.
Branson learned a lot from the Laker Airways founder Sir Freddie Laker, especially when he had struggled to get Virgin Atlantic up and running. He also said he owes his success in the airline industry to Sir Freddie Laker.
Maya Angelou Mentoring Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Winfrey looks up to her mentor Maya Angelou, the American poet, actress, and memoirist who focused on sexual, economic, and racial oppression in her autobiography. Winfrey called Angelou her mentor, mother, sister, and friend.
Winfrey recalls how Angelou was always present during the toughest and most important years of her life. Although Angelou passed at 86 years old, Winfrey recounts how she lived her life and moved the world with “unshakeable calm, confidence, and a fierce grace.” Winfrey also said the best lesson she learned from Maya Angelou was, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
Sigmund Freud Mentoring Carl Jung
Image Credit: exploringyourmind.com
Although the Freud and Jung mentorship lasted only six years, Jung valued the beautiful years of learning and teaching with Freud. Carl Jung, the younger Swiss psychiatrist, and psychologist had gained proper exposure for being the Austrian neurologist’s protege for six years.
Both soon parted ways due to the differences in theories. However, both were fond of each other. Freud had high respect for Jung’s work even before the mentorship started, and vice versa.
New entrepreneurs and young professionals should consider the importance of mentorship and its benefits to the table. Every successful entrepreneur has undoubtedly worked with a mentor at one point in their life. And these mentees claim that the only crucial element in making the partnership work is to believe in the value of how mentorship can propel your business or career.