Have you ever wondered how successful people got that way? How did they know which path to take and which steps would help them accomplish their dreams? The majority of them had a mentor – someone wiser, more experienced whose been down the path they were trying to go down. That person offered some advice and words of wisdom that propelled them in the right direction. A mentor can tell you what to do and what not to do; oftentimes, saving you some steps (and heartache) in between.
I once heard someone say, “What you admire in someone else, you yourself become.” That is so true! When you admire someone else, you want to imitate them and do what they do. A mentor should definitely be someone who inspires you and that inspiration should empower you to do better and be better. They exemplify the qualities and level of success that you wish to possess.
A mentor can have many definitions and the mentor/mentee dynamic can be as unique as the relationship. Whether it is a defined relationship where you meet face to face weekly and discuss specific things or whether it is an undefined relationship and you chat about a number of things via the phone whenever your schedules allow. How you set up your mentor/mentee relationship is completely up to you. You can have a mentor for your career, furthering your education, relationships…the list goes on and on.
Some of the questions you can ask your mentor are:
1) What made you choose your career field?
2) What do you like best about your job?
3) What is the best advice that someone gave you?
4) What qualities do you feel someone needs to be successful?
5) What experience do you think I need to achieve my goals?
6) If you could do things over again, what would you do differently?
Having a mentor in the workplace could be critical to your getting a promotion and being successful. In 75% of promotions, employees have a mentoring relationship with someone higher up on the food chain who speaks favorably on their behalf. Your mentor could also introduce you to people in their network and write letters of recommendation for you to help you achieve your goals.
Now don’t forget…..once you reach a certain level of success, be sure to give back and mentor someone else. Everyone has something they can teach to someone coming behind them. There ought to be some tidbit of information that you can share with someone else. Even if you are junior or senior in school, you can mentor the freshmen and sophomores coming after you. Keep in mind it is an ongoing process and throughout your life, you may have many mentors. This is the way it should work:
Mentor > YOU > Mentee
If we all develop this model of thinking, imagine what we could achieve together! To put it in simpler terms….I help you so, in turn, you can help someone else.