Mentoring Series Part 1 - The Significance of a Mentor
Contributed by Rachel Appiah
A mentor is someone entrusted to support and guide you through your journey in life. Many mentors have had relevant life experiences which make them suitable to counsel and advise without spoon-feeding us. This is to stimulate our thinking and allow us to become individuals who can make sound and well-informed choices. Here are reasons why it is beneficial to build a mentor and mentee relationship:
1. Unlock and release the greatness within you
Each one of us has gifts and talents. However, the extent to which it is revealed is by how much we are pushed. I would say "a mentor is there to help you see what you may not have seen in yourself." They are able to look beyond our current situation and see the great things that we can achieve. We all need motivation and encouragement especially at times when we get discouraged and lose focus. If we examine the lives of the world’s influential people today such as Richard Branson, Larry Page and Steve Jobs, something which they all have in common is that they all had mentors. They each had someone to push them to the great height we see today.
2. Career guidance
Many of us have dreams and aspirations that we would love to achieve, one of which may be concerning our future career path. Having someone to guide us in our career decisions is vital to ensure that we do not end up unhappy in our future careers. A mentor from that background can provide you with genuine insight into that career.
In many cases, a mentor may challenge you to ask yourself "if the career I want to go into was not paying me, would I still do it?" A mentor can also help you get to the next level in your career by providing the resources, training and advice needed to advance and break boundaries within your field.
3. Shared lessons from their mistakes
It is worth noting that in life every path that we wish to take someone else has crossed it before. Even if it is not identical to ours, the principles for success are always the same. Life is a journey of continuous growth and development. There is so much we can learn to avoid making the same mistakes that others have made or potentially making our journey to success longer than necessary. Having a mentor as a part of your support system eases the journey as you can receive objective advice to ensure you make the right decisions.
4. Expanding your network
Lastly, a mentor can help us meet the right people. Depending on how much you engage with your mentor and portray your desire to succeed, they can introduce you to people who may be of great value to you.
I definitely stand by the statement ‘your network is your net worth’ because we all need connections and exposure to flourish. If not you will miss out on a lot of opportunities which could cost you your dream job. Having the confidence to network is essential in any field, and this is something which can be built and developed through your relationship with your mentor.
Here are some useful articles which explore the topic of mentoring in more detail:
By Rachel Appiah