Whether you’re a new employee looking to find success at the office or still early in your career and hoping to get advice from more experienced co-workers, finding a mentor is a good course of action. After all, having someone to speak with who can discuss your ideas or answer your concerns about work are highly valuable for a number of different reasons.
In fact, there’s data that shows that mentoring is statistically helpful for employees. “For individuals, studies show that good mentoring can lead to greater career success, including promotions, raises, and increased opportunities,” according to Forbes. “Organizations that embrace mentoring are rewarded with higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and knowledge sharing. In fact, mentoring has proved so beneficial that 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees.”
To help, here are some tips on finding a mentor at work:
First, it’s crucial that you find someone who has the ability and the “desire” to help other people, according to Forbes. “A good mentor is sincerely interested in helping someone else without any ‘official’ reward. Good mentors do it because they genuinely want to see someone else succeed,” as noted by the publication. Many would be mentors have benefited from a mentor relationship in the past and they’re open to paying it forward.
Second, you should find a mentor who has the proper experience and skillset that you’re looking for in your own career. This will help you gain the information and help you need to put into practice yourself. “The best mentors have deep knowledge in an area that the mentee wishes to develop,” according to Forbes. Sometimes looking for someone outside your department or immediate circle makes the most sense. If you’re interested in developing a new skillset or exposure to other areas within your organization, look to those areas for a mentor. Consider your career path options when searching for a mentor.
But beyond just finding someone who wants to help, you should also search for a mentor who has a growth mindset of their own. “The best teachers have always been and always will be those who remain curious learners themselves. Would you rather be advised by someone whose mind is shut because he knows it all or by someone whose mind is open because she is always looking to deepen her knowledge?” as explained by the news publication.
Finally, you should have a good idea of what you want to achieve. “What do you want to accomplish professionally in the next three months? Can you do it in your current role or will it require you to switch jobs? The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it will be to find the right mentor,” according to NPR. It’s important to use the time with your mentor efficiently, so make sure you’re prepared with goals, ideas and questions when you meet.
The mentor/mentee relationship can also be beneficial for the mentor. Developing a relationship with someone less experienced or new to the organization can create opportunities to look at situations in new ways. “Sometimes a novel approach is exactly what’s needed to solve a lingering problem or improve an outdated process,” notes Analisa Blakley, Operations and Marketing Director of Judson Group. “It’s a great opportunity for someone more established in their career to gain a fresh perspective.”
In sum, finding a mentor at work can be extremely helpful in boosting your career success. By selecting the right person with the skills and knowledge that you need, you’ll be set up to achieve anything you set your mind to at work.