Mentorship, whether formal or informal, is about finding the right people to not only guide you, but advocate for you throughout your career. While the benefit of mentorship to the mentee may be more obvious, the relationship can certainly be mutually beneficial. Mentees learn from the path of their mentor and lean on them for advice. Mentors learn from their mentees perspective and experiences as well; as our panelists describe – it is a very humbling feeling.
You are a product of who you surround yourself with.
Spend time with people who will lift you up and believe in you. As perception is reality, remember that you are perceived by your circle of confidants. Having a manager that advocates for you is a good thing but you should also allow people from outside your own bubble to know who you are and who can similarly support you. Grow your brand and your network of advocates.
Do you want the answer or do you want me to help you get there?
Mentors should create a safe space where their mentee is able to say whether they want the explicit answer, or if they want help talking through it to arrive at the answer themselves. There is no single right answer to doing things but mentors can guide mentees to come up with the next best step for them to try.
Mentors should balance contrast and compatibility.
Challenge yourself to find a mentor who has different experiences, skill sets or career paths in order to push you out of your comfort zone. Having a mix of mentors, whether female or male, is valuable and can bring different perspectives and opportunities to grow. There is so much benefit in creating a diverse network.
A mentorship requires honesty, vulnerability, and commitment of both parties in order to make the most of the relationship. With open conversation and clear goals, both the mentor and the mentee have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. As Helen and Katie share in this event, no matter your career path, it is important to surround yourself with people who will support you and be your champion through your personal and professional life.
Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here.
Thank you to all of the WISE partners that made this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.