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How a Mentor Can Help You Step Up That Career Ladder

How a Mentor Can Help You Step Up That Career Ladder main image

By Zulfah Abrahams

A mentor in the workplace is an individual who offers guidance to a new or less-experienced employee - the mentee. This mentor may be another employee in the company or a professional from outside the organisation, and they’re required to share knowledge and provide advice to assist you in your professional growth.

Your appointed mentor should ideally be in the same professional field you are or want to be in, although finding someone outside this area who shares your values and who has achieved similar goals can also play an effective mentor role. But are they really worth having in the first place? Here are some of the key ways a mentor could give your career a boost.

How a mentor can help you

A mentor plays a number of roles to your advantage as you advance the rungs of career success. The nurturing hand of a mentor has been found to provide a mentee with better job satisfaction and help acknowledge and overcome strengths and weaknesses, in order to promote a quicker learning process and professional development.

In addition to this, a mentor at your company can help you work to your best potential, give you the confidence you need to progress in your career path, be someone with whom you can discuss ideas and who can show you the ropes and help facilitate a sense of belonging at your place of work.

In one workplace success story, a research study at California-based technology company Oracle highlighted the positive effect mentorship programs had on both employers and employees.

The study, conducted over a period of five years, observed 1,000 employees. Of the group that participated in the organization’s mentorship program, 25 percent achieved a pay rise (compared to five percent of employees that were not mentored) and 72 percent were retained (compared to only 49 percent of those who weren’t part of the program).

Those mentored were also five times more likely to be promoted, suggesting that mentored employees offered more value to the company.

What should you expect from a mentor

In navigating the long bumpy road of career success there will be times when you may go off the path and take a wrong turn or two. It is part of a mentor’s job to provide constructive criticism to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

In accepting a mentor, you should be prepared to be open and honest in all communication and express appreciation for the time, interest and guidance given.

In looking for a mentor, you need to find a person who is in a position you aspire to be in and who has the required knowledge and experience to help you achieve set goals and get you where you want to be. It would also be helpful if this person is someone you respect.

Invest in your future and sign up to a mentorship program. Head off to the HR department today and find out if your company offers a mentorship program that is a perfect fit for your career goals. If not, an online search can provide a useful list of mentoring projects and schemes to match you with the right mentor to help you.

Zulfah Abrahams career starters find the perfect job, in everything from sales jobs to marketing internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.

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