“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
If we look around, our personal relationships provide us with life mentors: our friends, mothers, grandmothers, our teachers, our dance instructors – the list can go on and on.
But why is it that in a professional setting many of us think we don’t need a mentor? If you just started out in your career or have been working for the past 15 years, could it help to have someone there that could guide you, point out your possible mistakes (nicely!) and ensure you are staying on track with your goals?
A couple of months ago, I attended a local CBBF session on the importance of mentorship to success – it made me realize the importance of having one and started me on my search for a mentor.
If we get to a point where we think we do not need mentors or people to perhaps offer us tips on how we can do things better, we lose out. If you keep doing the things you’ve always done you’ll keep getting the results you’ve always gotten (is that the famous quote?).
I’m still searching for my perfect mentor. Until then, I find it useful to read articles/blogs from women who are in a similar field to mine to see what they are doing different and how I can learn from their journeys.
If you’re still not convinced you need one, think of the following benefits of having a mentor:
- Someone to turn to for guidance in work and in life
- Someone who has travelled the road you have and can give you tips and advice as you set off on your journey
- Someone who can keep you in check once a week, month, etc. and who you can report to in order to ensure you stay on track
- Someone to keep you motivated through the tough times
- Someone who can perhaps introduce you to a wider network of professionals in your career, field or industry
Mission for the week, if you don’t have a mentor already consider finding one, it could help you in more ways than you know!
If you have a mentor and have some work experience already, consider mentoring someone. It’s a great feeling knowing you might help someone else in their career.
I’d love to hear from the readers about your experiences with mentorship and if/how it has helped you.
Paul Onwubuke says
Great points Mahsa, on Mentorship and Success. I learned from one of my mentors that a journey of a thousand mile, begins with the very first step(Dr. W. Dyer). All the best on your Journey.
Ty Unglebower says
I totally agree, but I have no mentor. I have never had a mentor, and I think that is one reason I have never had a true full time job in my entire adult life, despite having gone to college. (I freelance, but would welcome some stability once in a while.)
The problem is, mentors simply are not that easy to come by for a lot of people. If you happen to be talented in a field that needs huge amounts of people, you are more likely to find one. But if your talents lie elsewhere, or in more competitive or less business oriented fields, good luck in ever having anyone take enough interest in you to want to take you under their wing. People need that wing these days to cover their own tail feathers, and that’s the truth.
I speak from experience. I am good at what I do, but have always had to cut through the forest on my own, getting lost much of the time, because of a 100% lack of mentors at all stages of my life and career development.