By Chimeremma Nwadialor
To create a successful career one requires effective communication, right network, professional relationships and undoubtedly some other soft skills.
Simply put – to get to high heights professionally one needs way more than just technical and job-related skills. A lot of professionals who excel at their jobs do so because there is a mentor can stepped in to aid these professionals know themselves, develop some skills and build essential relationships.
Mentoring can be transformational and helpful for early career professionals. Mentoring relationship is between a mentor and mentee or mentees. It is usually a long-term thing and not a one day thing.
It is long term because professional growth is a gradual process between an experienced professional (mentor) and a less or inexperienced professional or more (mentee or mentees).
One major purpose of mentorship is for the gradual and consistent development of the mentee, albeit that is one out of many.
The job of the mentor is to help his or her mentee to climb the rungs of career growth with less unnecessary mistakes, hence he or she must be an advisor, prod them to develop new skills, challenge and constructively criticize their ideas and encourage their career development no matter the storms.
Mentors contribute writ large to their mentees’ career development and help them head to the peak. Here are important ways mentoring can help mentees in their career development.
It is only through intentional learning that mentees grow in their career, there is no cutting of corners. Two important things to learn; to learn how to learn and to learn how to unlearn. Times are changing and changing fast.
Professionals who do not update themselves in their field stay stagnant. Mentors, therefore must prod their mentees to opt for seminars and conferences. This avenues built them (the mentors) and gave them edge over a lot of experts in the same field.
They put learning on top of their scale of preference, so they inculcate the same attitude into their mentees.
No doubt, Mentors are role models to their mentees who on observing desirable behaviors, carriage and especially communication skills want to be able to imbibe and portray these soft skills. Communication skills are well important in business and mentors should help their mentees become good communicators.
When the mentor and mentee interact the mentee uses the opportunity to closely observe the mentor and absorb some of the essential and beneficial behaviors.
The mentee can easily get exposure to the top rank of the organization through a mentor, thanks to the mentor who wants his of her mentee to get to the top.
Mentors are success stories and surely have the right professional network. He or she would have to help connect his of her mentee to a wide network for the benefit of mutual growth, development and partnership. The broadening and connecting of the mentee to right professionals help the mentee advance in their career path.
Truly, early career professionals might find it daunting understanding themselves. They might be overwhelmed by pressure to be like this expert or that expert. This is due to lack of self-awareness. But only if they had a good understanding of their professional strengths and weaknesses.
Only then would they appreciate themselves and work on their weaknesses deliberately. Here, mentors can help their mentees appreciate themselves,identify critical skills and show them the room for improvement.
From the wealth of knowledge and experience, Mentors have a lot of help to proffer. This is because it would be disheartening if a mentee makes the same mistakes his or her mentor once made.
Via interactions with their mentors, mentees can analyse and problem-solve career issues. Mentees can and should learn from the experience of mentors, rather than learning things through personal experience, which might be costly.
Every professional who wants to advance in their career, developing a meaningful mentoring relationship is pertinent. While improving technical and job skills is also important, it’s not enough to prepare professionals for an executive role, tomorrow. The advantage of mentoring are worth the investment for professionals development.
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