A career can be a very rocky road. Each day, things happen at work that are not to your satisfaction or liking. You come home demoralized and dejected. That’s where a mentor can be your best friend.
It’s always good to have someone at your right-hand side, who can listen to you and provide some input, guidance and support. You need a champion for your career, a cheerleader who can be there when times are tough, to say, “Rah! Rah! Rah!”
Yes, you have friends and family, and they can be an important source of support. But you may not always want to be completely forthright about your career doubts or difficulties. This is when you can turn to a mentor.
Who is a mentor? It can be a colleague. It may be a boss. Surprisingly enough, it can even be an employee.
Mentorship can be a formal, structured arrangement, where you meet for a set time and frequency. Or you may find yourself in a chance meeting with someone you admire, who is willing to share experience, advice, or insights. Be open to these spontaneous opportunities than can advance your career and development.
A mentor can be most valuable during career transition, when you need all the help you can rally. They can be there for you through ups and downs, thick and thin.
When approached to be a mentor, weigh out the options and think about whether you could bring value to this person. If yes, then open up a further dialogue to offer your ear, a hand, a Kleenex, and your time. If no, give an eloquent and respectful reason and be willing to keep in touch.
Mentoring can bring great value to your career, and also lets you help others develop their own network, confidence and skills.