Whether you’re a manager or plan to be a supervisor at some point in your career, you probably realize the importance of mentorship in the workplace. You may even have a mentor of your own whom you look up to, ask for advice, and count on for feedback on tough assignments and situations.
So why not consider becoming a mentor? Young professionals often need someone to guide them in the beginning of their career, particularly if they’re starting out at a large organization.
Here are some benefits of being a mentor:
Learn new things. It’s inevitable that a professional younger than you will know more about a topic you’re less familiar with. For example, if you’re a Baby Boomer, perhaps taking on a Generation Y mentee can help you learn more about certain aspects of technology or social media. Every generation has their strengths, and mentor relationships are a great way to learn from one another so we can all improve our professional lives.
Share your knowledge with a young professional. Even if you’ve never wanted to be a teacher, sharing your knowledge with someone else can be empowering. Help other professionals avoid pitfalls you may have faced in your career, become better at specific tasks or assignments, or learn to navigate the organization you’re working for.
Build additional professional relationships. Although you probably have a variety of professional connections at this stage in your career, a mentor-mentee relationship offers different benefits than other acquaintance-like relationships. You’re certainly more connected to your mentee than other networking contacts. Not only can your mentee introduce you to people to add to your network, but you can do the same for them, too.
Develop leadership and management skills. Becoming a mentor can help you learn how to oversee and guide others. Discover how to manage younger workers and tap into your leadership abilities through advising a mentee.
Give back to your industry. Mentoring is an opportunity to help young professionals improve their skills, continue their education, and become better at their jobs. Not only does it help your industry (and perhaps your organization, should you mentor someone within it), but it can also make you feel good by helping someone else.
Do you have a mentor or mentee? How did that relationship come about? How has it helped you personally and professionally?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010) and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.