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Posted by Joe Wood on 18th January 2020

Mentoring: What's in it for me?

We’ve all probably been a mentor at some point without realising.

The basic definition of mentoring is to advise or train someone. This is usually someone more junior than yourself. Most of the time, there is someone more junior than you that wants to find out how you got to where you are now.

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Even at the young age of 25, I’ve been a mentor to others and felt the benefits. In my role as a Project Manager, I mentored Graduate Project Managers within the company. I would regularly think, why would someone want to be mentored by me? What could I possibly offer to someone only a couple of years younger?

Every experience, positive or negative, in your professional career could be a useful lesson to a mentee. Even that most mortifying mistake, that at the time made you terrified of your boss’ reaction, is worth laughing off and divulging to a mentee. At the very least it’ll stop them doing the same thing!

It’s refreshing to look back on your career and discuss it with a person that is truly interested. It’s invaluable to assess and appreciate how your career got to where it is now. Looking back on triumphs and failures is crucial for personal growth.

Being able to rationalise your own career history, convey it to a mentee and use it to inform their personal career journey nurtures your own leadership skills. If you’re able to do this effectively, it suggests you would be comfortable managing a team. Managing a team is paramount to reaching the highest levels in most industries.

The hard bit often isn’t the mentoring itself. Half of mentoring is simply talking with someone about their career, goals, successes and failures. It’s something we all do casually with friends and family; even if it might come across as annoying when you bother your younger family with “have you got a job yet?” at Christmas dinner. The other half of mentoring is talking about yourself and your experiences. That’s usually the easier half because most people like the sound of their own voice!

The hard bit is finding a mentee that wants to talk with you. Someone who knows and understands your career history and sincerely wishes to discuss it, as they believe it can help them. That’s where we come in. Wiseup allows you to create your Mentor profile. Your profile is then available online for Mentees to check out. A Mentee will only request some of your time if they think your experience and career history is of interest or use. In turn, you will only accept the request if you think that you can help them.

Get involved and see what you can offer. For every mentor, there is a mentee.

Sign up here: https://wiseupnetworks.com/sign-up.

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