Mentorship: Learning and Teaching
When you are just starting out in your professional career, you need someone who can teach you the tricks of your trade, so early in your career you should seek out at least one mentor to help you along the way. As you become more experienced in your profession, you can return the favor of the mentorships that you have received by paying them forward and becoming a mentor to younger professionals. Being a part of a mentorship program is important to almost all professions. Through a mentorship program, you can not only learn and teach about your career with others but also create genuine and valuable connections with your professional peers, connections which could turn into partnerships, project opportunities, or references.
How to Learn From a Mentorship Program
Of course, the first step in learning from a mentor is finding one. You should maintain academic relationships with professors from both your undergraduate and graduate courses. You could also stay in touch with other administrators whom you liked and who taught you the most about their career experiences. You probably have had multiple professors who either previously or currently worked in a career that you are entering. Check back with these people from time to time to learn from their experiences in the professional world.
They could become invaluable to your career later on down the line. Also, be on the lookout for more opportunities to learn from superiors in your first position. Try to establish a relationship with your boss outside of work (if you get along well with and feel like you could genuinely learn a lot from this person). If you take an interest in someone else’s life, he or she is more likely to take an interest in yours as well. Also, keep an open mind, and consider a wide variety of professionals as a possible mentor.
How to Be a Mentor
Later on in your professional life, be sure to give back to the younger members of your profession by helping them in their career paths. Just because you rank higher than do other people in your workplace doesn’t mean that you can’t have real friendships with them and teach them everything you know about the business. Fostering a mentorship to someone is very rewarding in several different ways. Keep in mind that being a mentor in not all about answering questions and trying to give your mentee shortcuts in the corporate ladder. Instead, mentors and mentees should share stories and challenge each other’s professional growth. Being a mentor is all about the growth of both individuals involved in the mentorship. Be honest, constructive, and insightful when your mentee asks you for an evaluation of himself or herself. Mentoring a younger professional in your office is a good way to always keep your name in the thoughts of your managers whenever an opportunity for promotion arises because your managers will see that you are capable of establishing successful relationships not only with professional superiors and equals but also with inferiors.