Mentoring is most often defined as “a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth.” – Management Mentors
As I mentioned in “What’s more important: money or a job that you love?”, finding a mentor is the most important thing you can do to ensure you achieve your career goals. You need to find someone who is in a similar or the same type of role you want to have and have them agree to mentor you. You need to find mentors who can not only provide value to you both personally and professionally, as well as ones that you can also provide value to.
So how is mentoring beneficial to your goals?
- Mentors can help you set and define clear objectives and milestones to achieve your goals.
- Mentors will recommend resources which will enable you to become more proficient in a certain aspect of your life.
- Mentoring provides an “outsider’s” opinion on what you can do to improve your skill-set and provide a different solution to a more complex problem.
- Mentoring reinforces the importance of building and maintaining relationships.
- Mentors can introduce you to other people within your field that can provide you with more insight and resources.
Personally, I have found that to achieve goals in different aspects of my life, I need a different type of mentor. For my career, my mentors are both my boss, Chris Hooper, and Sophie Hossack, Australia Country Manager at Receipt Bank. Both Chris and Sophie provide guidance on which areas I need to improve and recommendations of personal and skill development resources which they have found to be useful.
In relation to my health and fitness, I have found that having a coach/mentor for powerlifting has greatly improved my motivation and makes me excited to train as I am constantly working towards reaching my powerlifting goals. I have also surrounded myself with a wonderful team of people at PTC Adelaide who are all striving for similar goals to myself and keep me accountable.
“Mentoring is a two-way street. You get out what you put in.” – Steve Washington, COO & Co-Founder, Casentric
Most importantly, as I alluded to, you also need to be able to provide value to your mentor. With all my mentors, I recommend resources I have found useful as a way of providing value to them. I have focused on giving as well as receiving as it is a way of building a healthy mentoring relationship.
So my challenge to all readers is… Find yourself a mentor! If you need some help in working out what you’re looking for in a mentor, please send me a LinkedIn message.