The many benefits of a mentor
At MRK Associates, we are strong advocates of mentoring programmes. These are not sponsors (who speak for you), but mentors. First things first, what is a mentor? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a mentor is: “an experienced and trusted adviser.”
Mentors are great for you as they provide guidance and challenge you in a range of ways that is healthy and uncompetitive. In essence, they want to see you achieve success by benefiting from their life and/or work experiences. You don’t have to use the information imparted by a mentor, but what it does give you is balance. A view of a situation from a range of insights.
Picking a mentor
Selecting a mentor is a personal decision based on you being able to trust each other, and able to speak about a wide range of subjects. Sometimes the person you want to mentor you is unprepared to do for reasons of their own. You need to respect that. Working with a mentor needs to be an easy relationship.
Here’s a short ticklist to picking a mentor:
- Draw up a long list from your work and personal life that you respect and understand. You enjoy their company
- Consider people younger than you, as well as older
- Consider colleagues; people outside of your working environment can sometimes give enhanced objectivity. If you move roles, it might become difficult to talk regularly if your mentor is in your current workplace
- Consider all cultures and sexes
- Remember, everyone has the ability to be a mentor; no qualifications required nor should be sought
- Whittle the list down over the period of a week
- Approach the three you have in mind, and talk about how you’d like to “work” together and what you want to achieve
Are you prepared for change?
Today’s working environment is revolving around change and our ability to embrace it. A mentor will help you prepare for it and approach it with real enthusiasm, seeing challenges rather than problems and ensuring you succeed where many trip up. Learning from other’s experiences will help shape your forthcoming days. Your mentor should be prepared to challenge you and your thinking.
A mentor is not for everyone. Let’s make that clear, however, the successes people achieve from engaging one is refreshing to see. Even if you move forward 1% via the use of a mentor, that’s still a success.
Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.
MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.
For more information, please telephone 01442 824400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org