Inspiration, Life Stuff

Why You Need a Mentor

Guest Blogger: Jennifer 

In our day-to-day lives, we sometimes get so caught up with work, our social life and family time that we don’t take the time to sit back and consider what we could be improving and how others could be helping us make these changes.

We think to ourselves, “No, there’s nothing that needs improving and I’m not going to swallow my pride and ask anyone for help.” This, unfortunately, could be hindering us.

Having a mentor is such a great way to learn from someone who has years of experience under their belt and endless knowledge to share with you. A mentor can help you view different angles and outlooks on life that would have never been considered without their support. In order to experience success in any aspect of your life, it is highly recommended that you seek out a mentor to share with you wise advice that could be just the push you need to get to where you want to be.

There are many types of mentorships.

There are career mentors — mentors who have been working in your field of interest for years and have a strong network of likeminded colleagues, and could help you get your foot in the door in your shared field.

Then there are motherhood mentors — mentors who help expectant or new mothers through pregnancy and through the first years of raising a child. These mentors have gone through raising at least one child and are here to help new mothers with any questions or concerns they might have about being a new mother.

There are personal mentors — mentors who are here to help with personal matters such as depression, lack of confidence, family issues, etc. These mentors can be trained psychologists or they may have been through the same thing you are going through and know how to successfully fight through the issue.

BENEFITS OF HAVING A MENTOR

Mentorships are highly recommended for anyone needing that extra “push” and there are endless benefits to the relationship, including:

  • Years of Experience — These days the younger generation may think that they already know it all. This however, is not true. There is no possible way to mimic years and years of experience and learning from an individual who has had countless years in your industry is the person you want to be learning from.
  • Strong Networks — Odds are, if your mentor has been in the same industry for a while, they are going to have a strong network of likeminded individuals who will also be willing and ready to help you get to where you want to be.
  • Valuable Insight and Knowledge — As frustrating as it may be, experience is really the only way to get good at something. A first-time mom and a first-year employee aren’t going to have as much experience as a fifth-time mom or a 10-year employee and that’s just how life is. We have to accept that fact, swallow our pride and be open to taking advice from more experienced individuals who are willing and able to share valuable insight that is sure to make your life easier.

MENTORING ETIQUETTE

Etiquette tips like how often should you meet, who are appropriate people to ask to be your mentor, what kinds of advice can you ask for, etc

Nailing down perfect mentoring etiquette can be hard. It is such a unique situation and both sides of the relationship need to be mindful of each other.

Meeting time and frequency should be left up to the mentor since they are the one taking the time out of their day to assist the mentee. If the mentor is an extremely busy mother or business person, they may only have time to meet once a month. However, if the mentor is retired or has children who have moved out, they may be more open to weekly meetings, if desired.

You might be wondering who you should be asking to be your mentor. When looking for a mentor, you should set your sights on someone who is where you are hoping to end up. For example, if there is a mother at your child’s school who you admire for her parenting skills, this would be a great person to ask to mentor you. If there is a savvy business person you admire for their hard work and knowledge in your industry, this is another great example of someone you should consider as a mentor.

Mentors are here to help, but you should consider exactly what you want to discuss with your mentor prior to your meeting. You don’t want to meet your mentor for lunch and end up wasting their time since you didn’t come prepared with questions and discussion topics.

Some great questions to ask are:

  • How do you spend most of your time?
  • What would you do if you were in my position?
  • What can I do for you?
  • Are there any organizations that helped you get to where you are today that you recommend I join?

Starting your meeting off with these questions will ensure that you both get the most out of your time spent together.

CONSIDER MENTORING SOMEONE YOURSELF

GIVE BACK! Reasons to consider being a mentor to someone else at a certain point in your life.

Have you ever considered being a mentor? Mentoring is an extremely rewarding project and is a great way to give back to the community! Some benefits are being a mentor are:

  • Strengthening your existing skillset in ways you never thought possible
  • Learning new things from a younger generation
  • Sharing your valuable knowledge with someone who will put it to full use
  • Developing or improving management and leadership skills
  • Giving back to an industry you love and have been a part of for so long

The benefits of being a mentor are endless! Mentoring is a win-win situation for all parties involved and will leave everyone educated and feeling accomplished for giving back to the community.

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