Mentoring is a formal or informal exchange of knowledge, ideas, and advice that evolves according to the mentee’s needs. A mentor can be a role model and trusted resource for decision-making. A good mentoring relationship is reciprocal and collaborative and has very positive effects on other people.
My experience being a mentor
My experience being both a mentor & a mentee has been very rewarding, and something I truly enjoy! Personally, for me being a mentor has put me in a position where I can take my knowledge, share it, and have an impact on someone else’s development & goals. When I first took on Corporate America, I fended for myself teaching myself the skills that would get me placed on better projects and simply position myself better (this was done outside of working hours).
Though I had people around me that wanted to help, most were far too busy, and it was just not something they could truly make time for long term. Then I got two great mentors in 2011 (they are still my mentors) which led to my growth accelerating and I knew one day I will help in this capacity as well. I began mentoring in 2017 and have even formed a user group for my space in marketing to make sure there is constant knowledge shared on a grander scale.
The impact of mentoring for the mentee and our society
I think mentoring can have a very positive impact not just on the mentee, society but also on the mentor. The mentee is put in a position where they have a trusted person who is investing time and effort in helping make them more successful, hopefully encouraging drive and supporting them when faced with hurdles. I believe it also has an impact on society long term, as I would like to think people who have had strong encouraging mentors also want to give back in some way. Lastly, the mentor also has a lot they can learn from the mentee.
Personally, for me, this is always the case, and I recently even took on more of a creative twist via projects as one of my mentees took the time to show me doing so was not as scary as I thought. So the bottom line is all around this is a stellar space to spend some time in.
What I learned
The most important thing I have learned is you should never underestimate the power of kindness. Mentorship is a two-way street that is full of rewarding benefits for both people. The best thing I have walked away with is feeling like I have made a positive difference and I hope everyone I mentor walks away feeling encouraged, empowered, and most importantly feels they can smash glass ceilings not just polish them!
The role of a mentor is very important in this process, we function as active listeners and we must encourage our mentees to grow, learn and get out of their comfort zone, following their dreams according to their skills and areas of opportunity. This way, we can prepare them and guide their way into a clear career and personal path. Making a huge difference to their lives and our society’s strength.