Benefits of being a mentor

Published Jan. 25, 2021

Sometimes, when you decide to be a mentor to a junior employee or student, you may think the arrangement is weighted in favor of the mentee. After all, mentors give most of the giving, and at the same time, the mentee just has to soak in this hard-earned wisdom and reap the rewards.

Benefits of being a mentor

However, you may not realize how much your career stands to gain from the mentor experience. At Mentorcruise, our experts agree that mentoring is an excellent way to build leadership skills, empathy, and teachings, traits that most employers love.

We can’t stress enough the benefits of being a mentor. Improved leadership and the satisfaction that comes with helping others are amongst the top rewards.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of being a mentor. You’ll learn the following;

  • Who is a mentor?
  • What are the characteristics of a good mentor?
  • Why should I become a mentor? Benefits of being a mentor.
  • Tips for successful mentoring relationships.

Who is a mentor?

A mentor is an individual or friend who guides a less experienced person or mentee by building trust and modeling positive habits. A good mentor will possess the following characteristics.

What are the characteristics of a good mentor?

Building a successful mentor-mentee relationship requires work, dedication, and follow-through on both sides to work out. Examine the following qualities to appraise your mentoring skills and attributes you need to improve to ensure that the mentoring you offer is practical and has lasting value.

  • A good mentor is flexible, has a good listening/sounding board, is non-judgemental, eager to learn, honest and candid, and can network and find resources.
  • An effective mentor knows that their role is to be engaged, dependable, authentic, and attuned to the mentee’s needs.
  • A good mentor expert services, conveying professional knowledge and feedback from an expert vantage point.
  • Great mentors have the desire and willingness to share what they know, carefully listen, and possess compassion and understanding.

Why should I become a mentor? Benefits of being a mentor

Everyone needs a mentor. Many people don’t trust their own skills and instincts when it comes to being mentors themselves. However, mentorship is not a one-way street, there is a shared learning way in mentoring, and both participants can build transferable skills to add to their individual experiences. Below are some reasons why you should consider becoming a mentor.

Learning by Teaching

It’s no secret that an excellent way to learn something is to teach it. To teach something, you have to understand it thoroughly. Teachers are not born to be amazing at their craft; they studied hard, collected experience, and put those skills in concrete by teaching them to others.

Not only hard skills are valuable. Especially in tech, soft skills are just as valuable, if not even more. Being a mentor and taking mentorships seriously shapes and polishes your soft skills.

Teaching is an amazing way to level up your communication skills, but also your patience with others. If somebody makes a mistake, mentors can overcome that and help people reach their full potential.

Realizing something? Those are skills that people in leadership positions need as well - and that’s exactly why employers absolutely love to hire and promote mentors. Being a mentor for others and being responsible for someone are great ways to become a successful manager and leader.

Employers love to hire mentors.

That is exactly the reason why employers love to hire mentors. The modern employer looks for a few attributes in a leader:

  1. Someone who can push other people forward
  2. Someone who is organized and can work under pressure
  3. Someone who takes responsibility for their actions

These are also attributes that relate to being a mentor. When you are a mentor, your job is to push your mentee forward and get them to the next level. It’s a very selfless act and extremely powerful.

You also need to keep track of what your mentee does, organize questions and problems, and make sure that mentees can hit their targeted goals. Especially when it comes to situations where a mentee works towards a deadline, such as an interview, or is under a financial strain, this really puts things into perspective.

Finally, you are solely responsible for what you teach your mentee. Many goals can be reached with a realistic timeline, accountability, and a good path, and it is now your job to make it realistic. That doesn’t mean that your mentee is out of the equation, but if your mentee fails, it’s your failure as well, just like as a manager.

All these attributes correlate strongly with building and running a team of your own, and building these attributes can help you in your career.

Building a Network

You’re going to get in touch with dozens of people from different walks of life. In some cases, you’ll stay in touch with them for a year or longer. Mentorship is a great opportunity to extend your network with people you would have never met otherwise.

It’s always valuable to remain in touch with smart people, and having a mentee is no exception to that. If you’re mentoring over a longer period of time, you’ll start helping people grow into unique positions and roles. This can be valuable to you in the long run as well!

A big loose network is worthless, but a small, tightly-knit one is precious. Working with a few dozen mentees over the years allows you to be part of a network where people are extremely thankful for you and your actions. It’s almost guaranteed that one of your mentees will be able to help you out at some point.

Tips for successful mentoring relationships.

Keep conversations open

During your initial meeting with your mentee/mentor, you need to interact. Whether you are an employee or a student, it is up to you to discuss your goals and aspired outcomes. You may want to share your background with your mentor to open discussions. Laying out this background is often a great starting point. A mentoring relationship requires time to develop.

Be Courteous

Both mentor and mentee need to be courteous of each other. This means showing up on time, holding meetings in a comfortable setting, and so on. It can be scary at first for mentees to open up to their mentors.

As a mentor, you can often share some of your failures. To mean that there is hard work right from the beginning to tangible achievements.

Set Expectations

Set your expectations before seeking guidance from your mentor. There are many ways to go about this:

  • Get advice on whether or not your career development goals are sensible. Your mentor can give feedback and help you refine your goals.
  • Ensure that your mentor understands what to expect from you and vice-versa. Speak to your advisor if you are uncertain about tasks you need to carry out for the next meeting.
  • Research before your meeting if you are contemplating a particular career. Check out what courses and or experience you may need to attend an interview with an institution. Hold a list of puzzles for your mentor regarding this area.

Be Committed And Maintain Contact

As mentees, you can only take out of a program what you put in. A great mentor will respond to your motivation. Aim to send emails with updates. Ask questions and chat as your mentor tries to understand you and your needs. Individuals who have the most drive to succeed are the most rewarding to motivate.

Be Honest And Trustworthy

You both need to be honest with each other. Make your mentor understand what you didn’t get right.

Be Reliable and Consistent

Whether you are an employee or a student, you must be reliable. This does not mean just showing up but also putting the work in.

Mentorship is an extremely great way to impact the lives and universes of other people. Our mentees have found new careers, gotten out of horrible life situations, broken their habits, and become successful thanks to their mentors.

Are you ready to be a mentor?

At Mentor Cruise, we sometimes hear that people think they aren’t “good enough” to be mentors. Usually, that’s incorrect. Here’s a good checklist of what makes a good mentor:

You may need some time: We are flexible in the amount of time you plan to invest. We can narrow this down to 5 minutes per day to some hours per week based on what you provide. However, you need to make time for that commitment.

You need to show up: The primary reason people love our mentorships is that people care are available and care for them. If you can’t commit to checking in once or twice daily, this might not be for you.

Your experience matters: We have found that mentorships work best if individuals bring a bit of industry experience with them. If you are coming right out from school, let’s wait for a little.

You don’t need a fancy degree. Our mentoring team comprises high school dropouts and PhDs and Senior Product, Managers. We’re open to everyone if you can help people.

Being open and empathic. You’ll get in contact with people from all sorts of situations and backgrounds. There is no opening for elitism or judgment. Being open and understanding people’s needs is a must.

Is this for me? If you are uncertain, just let us do the work and apply. We pride ourselves on being honest, open, and inclusive. The minimum you can get out of this is some feedback and growth.