Five ways mentoring can benefit a career
Mentoring – both having a mentor and being a mentor – can prove invaluable for those later in their careers, not just those on their way up. To be successful, you need help from others and mentoring ambitious young people creates a network of rising professionals who can help inform and make valuable connections for you.
Mentoring helps you keep in touch with the younger generation. As a leader of any institution, knowing the next generation’s perspective can greatly influence your thinking. A rising professional in her 20s, for example, might have a very different perspective on achieving gender equality than your older contemporaries have.
Mentoring gives you access to people of different backgrounds, with different perspectives, which can help to influence your own thinking. Mentoring younger people can also give you optimism about the future. It connects you to people who not only care about their careers and professions but also about trying to improve the world. It gives insight into how younger generations work, talk and communicate.
Encouragement from a mentor can be critical to success, particularly for early-career professionals. But what is in it for the mentor?
 1) Mentoring helps you become a more effective leader
 2) Better understanding of your own experience
Your experiences may seem quite ordinary to you, but when you participate in a mentoring programme you will see how beneficial and helpful those experiences can be to those who are climbing up in your profession.
 3) Mentoring hones your transferable skills-set
Mentoring teaches you how to accommodate others’ ways of thinking and working.
Mentoring gives you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and use your expertise in other areas. It also improves your listening skills, as you can use them to improve your ability to give guidance.
You will learn that you do not have to be in the exact same discipline to be helpful to a mentee. You will also find that mentees have a lot to offer the mentor – you will probably find yourself learning from them.
Mentoring is not just about helping other people or about being altruistic. It can make us better managers and better leaders. Mentoring therefore remains important throughout life.
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