Do you remember your first mentor? They may have had a significant impact on your career. Maybe it was your first supervisor. Where would you be today without the guidance and advice you received from your mentor?
As I look back, I realize that one of the most valuable gifts my mentor gave to me was his time. Time to listen, time to coach, time to make me feel like I was worth the investment. In today’s business world where everything moves at the speed of light, time is a rare luxury. Everything moves so fast, from our schedule to new technology. Have you taken the time to make yourself available as a mentor?
Just as generations and the workplace have changed, so has mentoring. According to Les McKeown, president and CEO of Deliver The Promise, a Tiburon, CA consulting firm that specializes in mentoring, “Today, mentoring is less power–related. It’s less about seniority and teaching, and more about sharing and development.”
Mentoring is about the connection and relationship created. And while there is a clear mentor and mentee, both stand to gain from the mentoring relationship. The “protégé” is able to identify a role model and learn from their advice and guidance. They develop a confidant to turn to for help with the tougher workplace and career changing decisions. Remember, we are most likely talking about Gen Yers – a generation that puts a clear priority on having give and take, and an office culture that is rewarding, nurturing and empowering to them.
What do you stand to gain from being a mentor? If nothing else, you’re going to have the opportunity to give back.
Do you have time to be a mentor? As your career developed, you know how important it was to have a mentor. Is there any reason to believe it is any less important to have a mentor today?
I know I was fortunate to have a mentor – someone who truly took an interest in me, my experiences, my career. To this day, when I need to talk to someone, he is still one of the first people I call. Mentoring is so important to the individual – for their career and confidence – and to the business – for recruiting and retaining employees.
Now, it’s my turn to be a mentor. And it’s yours. It’s all too easy to say “when I have time . . .” or “I’ll sit down and talk with him tomorrow.” Make tomorrow today. Tag, you’re it.