According to Harvard Business Review, ‘developing others’ is the area for which managers tend to rate themselves most unfavourably. The likely reason for this simply being that they do not have surplus time or energy to invest into the development of their employees.
It is no surprise then that more people are choosing to take their professional development into their own hands, often with the help of a career mentor.
Here are the top benefits of having a career development mentor on your side:
Often it is tricky to turn our existing working relationships into trusted support systems, and raising conversations or concerns outside of your usual workflow can feel daunting.
The benefit of a career development mentor is having an unbiased person to talk to about any issues that you would otherwise find difficult to broach. You can feel confident knowing that any issues you raise with your mentor will be received objectively and remain confidential.
A career mentor also provides the benefit of offering honest feedback on your work or ideas before you pitch them to colleagues.
Working with a career development mentor is all about furthering yourself. A great way to be recognised at work is to offer up ideas that can improve the time or cost effectiveness of existing workflows.
An established workplace will likely have processes or structures in place that have remained unchanged for a long time and are in need of a revamp.
Your career development mentor offers a fresh pair of eyes, and can work with you to identify how you can provide solutions, get your voice heard, and get on the map!
You could also benefit from being introduced to your career mentor’s network of industry professionals. New connections can open doors for your career and aid your professional development.
We’ve all been that person sat in a meeting with something to say, but biting our tongue through fear of sounding stupid. Eventually, someone else will pipe up with your idea and get all the credit.
That person is no better at their job than you, they just have more confidence when it comes to speaking out. Chatting regularly with a career development mentor can vastly improve your communication skills and get you into the habit of sharing ideas.
Very quickly you will develop more conviction in your opinions and getting your voice heard will start to come naturally.
The benefits of a career mentor are not limited to developing your soft skills. You can find a mentor with industry specific experience who is able to help you refine your hard skills and practical knowledge.
Organisations often don’t have the time or resource to effectively fill all the skills gaps faced by their employees, and this can have a massive impact on job performance across the board.
Your career mentor can help you get ahead by offering workshops that focus on a specific software, program or skill. Applying these new abilities at work will demonstrate your progression and set you apart as a proactive achiever.
We all set goals at work, but how often do you sit down, review your progress, and devise a focused development plan? Regular goal-orientated meetings with your mentor can keep you on track and help you succeed.
It is a good idea to establish exactly what performance indicators you are regularly assessed on at work. Once you understand these basic metrics, you can work with your career mentor to identify which areas need attention and work together on a structured development plan.