Most working women would love to have a mentor — a role model; someone who they can turn to for inspiration, motivation, and even advice in their professional domain. Easier said than done, right? I mean for someone to be our mentor, they have to be pretty awesome.
"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." according to Eric Parsloe of The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring.
An article in Forbes magazine says “mentors can help you set and achieve career goals, make smart business decisions, overcome workplace challenges, learn new skills, or simply offer an outside perspective when you’re facing frustrations at work. The benefits are truly endless.”
What are the criteria for a mentor? The individual must be someone you can learn from—age truly doesn’t matter.
When you look for a mentor, you usually look for someone whose characteristics you’d like to emulate at work; someone who has achieved success in their career, and who will have nuggets of wisdom to pass on to you; someone whose personality is not too different from yours, and whom you trust with confidential information regarding your career.
Your mentor should ideally not know your boss very well. It should be someone outside of your reporting hierarchy; Ideally, someone who has been in your role, but in a different organization; The focus should be on the relationship and people involved— i.e the mentor and the mentee.
At the outset, the mentee must be clear what she hopes to learn from the mentor and how to go about it. Would you want to set aside some time to discuss your career or professional development with your mentor? How frequently?
What do mentors get out of this? Aside from the fact that they would like to see you succeed, it’s a huge ego boost to them to be able to pass on their wisdom and bask in the afterglow of your success. So here’s to professional networking! Good luck finding a mentor.