The importance of mentors and why you need one

Have you ever considered mentoring in order to advance your career?

If you haven’t, you should keep on reading, having a mentor can be the missing step for you to achieve your next career goals. 

Some companies offer mentorship programs that give the employees the tools to actively shape their careers and take responsibility for their development. Mentorship programs within organizations can help women to gain visibility and establish their network in the company. They can be a great way to progress in your career and reach your ambitious career goals. 

Mentors can help you achieve the career goals you have defined for yourself and support you in taking the steps to get there. Due to more experience and knowledge in the business, organization and people skills, the mentor can give you the insights and advice you need in order to reach the next level.

How do you find the right mentor for your career?

A mentor can be anyone whose career you admire, regardless of their position, department, or seniority level.

 

If your employer does not offer a mentorship program, you need to be proactive. Reach out to the women you admire and ask if they are open to mentoring you. It could be someone who has a role that you are working towards or is in an industry you want to switch to.

It doesn’t necessarily have to relate to what you’re currently doing, but what you want to be doing in the future and what you want to learn through this mentorship. It can also be someone outside your current organization or industry whose career you find inspiring.

Think about the women in your network and if there is someone you could see yourself in, these are the women you should approach. In Career Club DK Community we have over 3500 women from 97 different countries and even more industries. All of them are in our community because they want to network and empower each other, so don’t be shy and reach out! Invite that person for a coffee and ask them if they would be interested in being your mentor and supporting you in your career ambitions.

You found your mentor – what comes next?

As a next step, you need to sit down and take the time to plan what you want to achieve through this mentorship. You need to take the lead, plan and be prepared for your meetings; it is your career that you are working on.

Still, it is a mutual relationship between you and your mentor, and both parties invest time and resources into it. So how exactly to do that? Below are 5 tips that I consider important for a successful mentorship that can help you get started.

5 tips for successful mentorship

1. Define your goals

First part is reflecting and writing down your career goals and aspirations. You need to be precise about what you want to achieve, in what timeframe, and what are some of the activities you should do.

An important part of this step is to also write down your strengths, weaknesses, development areas and learning opportunities. When you have it all in writing it gets easier to see what you need to work on and visualize your goals.

2. Be prepared

In the second step, you need to define a strategy together with your mentor. You need a plan for what do you want to discuss with your mentor, how can your mentor support you, and what questions do you have?

In this step, you also should decide on a schedule that works for both of you: do you want monthly or bi-monthly meetings, do you want to meet online or face-to-face?

3. Be honest and open-minded

In the mentoring sessions, it is important to create an open and safe atmosphere. You need to feel comfortable talking about your thoughts and ideas with your mentor, but you need to also accept constructive feedback from them. Especially when it comes to areas you need to improve!

Remember, your mentor is your allay and there is always room for improvement and additional learning.

4. Work on continuous growth

An important part of mentoring is developing the skills that you need in order to grow in your career. These can be hard or soft skills like leadership, communication or project management skills.

It is important to remember that a mentor is there to guide, support and empower you, not to give you the answers and solutions. You need to work on finding your own solutions through the mentor’s guidance and advice. 

5. Remember to have fun

In order to feel comfortable and be able to be honest with your mentor, it is important that you have good chemistry. You two will spend a lot of time together and mentoring should be an activity that is fun and is also a source of inspiration for both of you!

Who are the power women in your environment you would like to have as your mentor? Do you have someone in mind? Reach out to them today!

Author

Annika Puutio

Advisory Board Member at Career Club DK

Junior Executive in Strategic Planning & Insights

Connect with Annika on LinkedIn!

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