Career Corner: The Value of a Good Mentor

Categories: Professional Development

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Ever want to get a mentor but not sure what the point of one is or how to find the right one for you?

At one of the offices I worked at a few years back, the company had a mentorship program. After my first three months, I was paired up with a fellow employee that worked in my division who had been there a few years prior to me. The mentor and I would make an effort to go for lunch once a month and we’d discuss everything from career growth, difficulties in the office to managing work-life balance. I became friends with my mentor and we still hang out till this day, seven years later.

Many human resources studies have shown that fostering mentorship in the workplace leads to less turnover, greater employee satisfaction and career advancement.

This is not specific to one industry but is seen across multiple sectors. Managers who take an active role in connecting employees with one another to develop strong mentor relationships, build cohesiveness and teamwork in the office. The built camaraderie ensures that everyone has someone they can talk to whether they are having a good or bad day at the office.

But mentorship doesn’t have to be just within your workplace. And who says you can only have one mentor?

You can pick up mentors as you go along in your career life. You may find that each person will have certain skills that pertain to different areas of your professional growth. One mentor may be great for your career advancement, another for your creative endeavors outside of work and another for your educational aspirations.

So how do you find a good mentor?

If you’re a recent graduate that wants a mentor, consider reaching out to an alumni or someone within the EMC network who works in the field you aspire to get into. Having someone to bounce job search ideas or just talk to can help get your career started on the right foot. Hopefully, this person will be a mentor you keep in touch with even after you’ve gotten your job.

If you’re someone who works a 9-5 but during the evenings and weekends you have a side hustle, finding a mentor in that field is beneficial. Going to networking events should help introduce you to fellow entrepreneurs who also started off working part time on their dream job. By connecting with like-minded people the aim is to gain key advice, best practices and again have someone to bounce ideas off of.

 No one is an island. Every successful person will tell you that they got to where they are today by having mentors who helped shape and guide them to where they are today.

 -by Najat Mahammed