Most people think of the relationship between mentoring and career building as a one-way street. People look for mentors to help them advance in their careers, right? A little known fact, however, is that when you become a mentor, you help your own career as well as that of your protégé. Here are some benefits your career can receive when you become a mentor.
You Remind Yourself of What You Already Know
When you become a mentor, you take a mental journey through your career history, revisiting the obstacles and successes alike. This journey can help you reconnect with the lessons you've learned along the way. While transmitting your learned knowledge to your protégé, you come across things since forgotten, but that can be put into practice. In addition, the very process of teaching reinforces knowledge and helps to highlight new ways to use that knowledge. When answering your protégé's questions, you are forced to think through your methods. Such reflection can streamline, rejuvenate and clarify stale business practices.
Expand Your Network
You're likely to connect with others who are also interested in giving back to the community when you become a mentor. Those who are willing to give their time and knowledge to help up-and-coming young professionals or even students are also likely to want to connect with you. Use mentoring as a way to expand your professional network and be in touch with like-minded people in your industry. This benefit of mentorship can lead to meaningful connections that benefit your career.
Build Your Team
Becoming a mentor within your company helps retain talent in the company, allowing you to solidify your internal network. When mentoring younger employees, you help them hone their skills, which can then be put to work for the betterment of the company. Mentoring allows you to pinpoint rising talent and to recruit that talent to your project teams. As these employees become more productive and start to shine, as a mentor, you can appreciate their work knowing that you helped them to achieve their goals. Not only that, but can you begin to build your own legacy within your company, while helping generations of employees who can point back to you as a mentor and who are likely to support you during trying times.
Becoming a mentor allows you the satisfaction of contributing to a cause, and, when handled correctly, it can also be a positive step in your own career-building goals and strategies. Try reconnecting with some of your own mentors from the past to ask them how the process of mentorship benefited them. Then, seek out likely young professionals in your own company or industry to start passing on what you've learned.
Photo courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net