Despite the small investment of time, mentoring reaps big rewards for both parties involved.
There’s a new associate in your department. She works hard, shows tremendous potential, and the two of you have plenty in common. Recently she approached you about becoming her mentor. Despite the worries about whether your schedule can handle it, should you say yes?
Studies show that it’s a good career move for you – not just the mentee. Mentors are typically more satisfied with their jobs and experience a greater sense of purpose, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior. In some instances, mentorship leads to a raise for both the mentor and the mentee, and individuals who mentor are more likely to get a promotion.
Consider the perks
Still hesitant? Keep in mind that mentoring can also help you:
- Strengthen interpersonal skills. The downside of reaching the top is that you have less interaction with others in the organization. Mentoring provides an opportunity to refresh those skills.
- Develop new skills. The best mentorships are a two-way street, with both parties learning from the experience. For you, it’s an opportunity to learn new things from younger co-workers fresh out of college.
- Retain top talent. Everyone wants to work with intelligent, motivated people. Cultivate future leaders – maybe even a successor – by helping them achieve noteworthy goals.
- Expand your professional network. As you help open new doors for a mentee, keep in mind that he or she can do the same for you.
- Regain a sense of empowerment. Maybe you’ve forgotten just how much you know. When another person asks for and listens to your advice, it naturally boosts your confidence.
- Sharpen your listening skills. Mentoring makes you a more active listener, which helps to ensure that talented employees feel valued.
When it comes to mentoring, even 15 minutes a week can be beneficial. Make it work by establishing clear expectations about confidentiality, your time and the best way to communicate. To get started:
- Invite your mentee to sit in on meetings you’re conducting
- Talk with your mentee about future goals
- Share anecdotes about your career
- Offer tips for navigating the workplace
- Connect your mentee with others in the field
Mentorship can be a real game changer. By volunteering your time and experience, you can make a difference in someone’s career – and boost your own as well.