Remember that person who took you under their wing when you started in your profession and guided you through the first few years of your career? Whether they were a mentor in name or just in spirit, they helped shape you navigate some rough waters, and was a major factor in getting you where you are today. Now that you are established in your field and have a little experience under your belt, you have the opportunity to help the next generation of talent through your mentorship.
Why You Should Consider Mentoring
While the simple act of using your experience and expertise to help someone grow their career is extremely rewarding in itself, there are some other great benefits to becoming a mentor. For one, mentoring is a great way to polish your own skills. People often find that they learn more as a teacher than they ever did as a student or on their own. It can also help you develop your leadership and critical thinking skills. Mentoring also allows you to stay up to date on the newest trends in technology in your field.
How You Can Find Your Protégé
When it comes to finding a protégé, many companies have mentorship programs, so HR may be able to set you up with someone new to the company. If you have a new hire in your department, tell your boss that you would be interested in taking them under your wing so you can mentor them on a daily basis. Outside of your work, check with any professional organizations you may belong to, as they typically have outreach programs that offer mentorship opportunities. In addition, you can check out charitable organizations like Big Brothers or Big Sisters, as they are always looking for mentor volunteers.
Getting Started With Your Protégé
The first step to a successful mentoring relationship is to talk about your protégé’s goals and how they align with your specific expertise. This won’t just help you put together a roadmap for success, it also allows you to put on a focus on what you can help so that you can better use your time together. It’s also important that you establish norms regarding how much time you are going to be able to commit towards mentoring, and how your communications will take place. By establishing ground rules early, you will have a better chance of developing a successful mentor-protégé relationship.