Have you ever considered mentoring? Sounds like a nice idea but is it worth the effort? The reality is mentoring offers a ton of benefits for both the Mentor and the Mentee.
** If you work in tech and are interested in mentoring – consider the Future in Tech programmes (more on this below)**
Why Become a Mentor?
There are many reasons to go down this path – here’s just a few;
1 Critical Thought & Reflection
You’re already very competent at your job. But when you have to break it down and simplify what you do – it gives you a totally different perspective. This fresh perspective will help you to look inward and think holistically at the same time. A seemingly naïve question from a mentee can wake you up to a new way of thinking – does something have to be that way?
Because when you are juggling things on a daily basis at work – those questions are not asked – the answers are just assumed. But for a mentee, ‘That’s just how it is’ doesn’t cut it. You get a chance to think about the “why” from a different angle.
And when you take the time to critically reflect – this leads to a great improvement in your professional abilities.
This opens up another opportunity…..
2 Improve your own Skills
You know the expression “the best way to learn something is by teaching it”? Well paradoxically, mentoring can help you to get better at what you do. Critical thought helps you identify your own strengths and weaknesses. But perhaps one of the biggest skills you can develop are your “soft” skills. Having soft skills in tech is vital to succeed in the workplace.
In particular, mentorship allows you to develop your leadership, emotional intelligence and overall communication skills. The ability to have empathy and understand where the mentee is at – is a vital skill in and out of the workplace.
3) A Fresh Perspective Drives Creativity
We said mentoring can help develop your critical thinking. But a fresh perspective can also ignite your creativity. Different ideas and perspectives may intertwine to give you that next big idea in your own job.
Sometimes, a change in environment and the chance to look at your role from the inside out can lead to that ‘aha moment’. And while mentorship doesn’t guarantee creativity per se – different conversations in different settings with different personalities – stacks the odds in your favour to be more creative.
4) Build your Brand
Being a mentor positions you as a recognised professional in your own right and it identifies your company as an authority in your industry. This can help swing open the door of opportunity further down the line. Whether that is PR through industry conferences, journals or simply new business – a mentorship can do wonders for your personal and corporate brand.
Plus you are now liaising with the next batch of talent coming through in the sector. Which naturally leads to….
Ok you might be thinking – it sounds nice but I’m liaising with people who are the very start of their careers – so what do they have to offer my company? Well first of all that would be very transactional and limited way of thinking.
The overarching reason is that establishing your professional credentials is a long -term game. That person you are giving insights to today, might be in a position of great authority 4 years from now. Every person you meet is an opportunity – for you to help them and for them to help you down the line. As author Keith Ferazzi puts it in his networking book “Never Eat Alone”
“ The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others”.
6 It’s a Good Thing to Do (Full Stop).
Altruism just feels good. Yes you might be doing it for all the other strategic personal and business reasons as above but… kindness and goodwill are beautifully and uniquely human traits.
To paraphrase Martin Luther King –
“Every person must decide whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”
So if you want that feel-good sense of giving while expecting nothing in return – mentorship could be the answer for you.
Work in Tech? Consider mentoring with the Future in Tech Programmes
With 9 different pathways – the future in tech programme helps non-tech jobseekers rapidly and easily develop new digital skills. And critically help is given in accessing new job opportunities as a result.
Needless to say, the programme can be life-changing for the participants who are given a chance to embrace a total change in career.
And what about the Mentors?
‘Highly Rewarding’. That has been the general feedback so far.
Here’s what Carmel Somers – organisational psychologist had to say:
“They say you get more back from mentoring than you give, and that certainly is true. I loved the group mentoring and I got to see how the group evolved to support each other over the semesters. These mentoring sessions brought together a disparate group that bonded and became a powerful force, towards the end of the programme as they engaged in their final group project. I’m very proud of them and what they are achieving and what they will achieve in the future! Who knows maybe a nugget from one of those relaxed mentoring sessions will help them to do great things in cybersecurity in the future.”
Final Words on the Mentorship Programme
This a great opportunity to do something worthwhile. And while the benefits include the lofty clouds of altruism and helping another person in their career – mentorship is also grounded in practicable and tangible benefits for you; the mentor.
If this is something that interests you – please get in touch with the team at Future in Tech.