According to the resent research by American Society for Training and Development, 75% of people who take an executive position, claim that mentorship played a critical role in their career development. Therefore, it’s vitally important to understand who the mentor is and how he can help you to get a promotion.
What is mentorship?
Mentoring is the guidance provided by an experienced person in a company or educational institution. The goal of this process is to give the employees more abilities for professional development and career growth. Progressive companies often build up the systems, where employees who provide mentorship to younger colleagues also have their mentors among more experienced ones.
This process is more than just giving advice. It is rather about motivating and empowering, helping to identify goals, discovering strengths to use and weaknesses to work with, building up the strategies for development. Mentorship can last for years and not be limited by the one company. For example, top managers can be asking for mentorship managers whose companies achieved greater success or professional business consultants.
Mentor Vs. Coach Vs. Consultant Vs. Counselor
Before starting mentoring relationships, it’s important to understand what to expect from a mentor at work. Therefore, you should realize the different types of relations at work and chose those you need at a certain moment of your development. The boundaries between those types are not absolutely defined, however, some distinction still exists. For example, coaching is a subject-oriented process that is aimed to boost skills and creativity for the fixed project or task, while counseling is more concentrated on resolving emotional and psychological issues that retard your growth. The consultant is an expert who will help you to resolve professional problems with some technical advice. At the same time mentorship is the broadest concept. A mentor is a wise advisor that guides you through your career by sharing experience and providing advice both on personal and professional issues, thus suggesting a long-term collaboration.
Good mentor – who is and where to find
We firmly believe that professional mentors are those who are passionate about developing others. Mentoring at work requires a lot of knowledge, skills, the right attitude and willing to develop the mentee. The Balance determined 8 main qualities a real mentor should possess. Here they are:
- Passion for sharing knowledge, skills and personal experience
- Positive and “can do” attitude as well as acting as a role model for the mentee
- Willing to invest the time and energy into mentor-mentee relationships
- Enthusiasm for the job
- Constant development of professional and personal skills
- Guidance through career development and the ability to provide constructive feedback
- Obtaining respect from their colleagues and management
- Ability to set and achieve goals.
Take into account all these points when choosing a mentor who leads you to success.
Main tasks of the mentor on your way to get promoted
Determine your strengths and weaknesses
In order to get promoted, it’s necessary to work on your skill set. And your mentor is the one who will help you to identify the areas you are good at and the spheres you need to work on. He will analyze your performance but he won’t assess you as the person you report to. Therefore, he will be able to provide you with professional advice in a friendly and comfortable manner and suggest different ways to develop your skills based on your personality.
Share their past experience
Mentor at work is the one who has already gone your way, thus he knows all the issues you face. He is ready to give you valuable tips to reduce the number of your mistakes and make your career path easier for you. You can prepare a list of questions to ask your mentor about a career for the first meeting with him or ask him for the piece of advice whenever you need it. Your mentor will be there to tell you if he faced the same problems and how he coped with them. It is a person who will sincerely tell you about insider insights and personal anecdotes. This will help you to build up different scenarios how to behave in situations happen.
Prepare you for the meeting with management
Before you initiate a talk on your promotion with your boss, ask your mentor to help you prepare for this meeting. He can roleplay with you and prepare a list of questions you may be asked. You should not underestimate this help, as such a practice will help to develop your negotiation skills and build up your confidence. You will be able to polish your answers and outstand during your promotional interview.
Build a network of important contacts
Mentoring at work is also important as you can ask your mentor to introduce you to the right people. Communication is important for career growth as sometimes promotion decisions depend on not what you know, but rather whom you know. Successful negotiation is vital for success, therefore do not hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity.
Provide you with a realistic opinion
All of the employees want to get promoted. However, not all of them are really ready to take the new responsibilities. Your mentor is someone who will keep it real for you. He will be ready to identify if you indeed deserve it or you should step back and improve your competencies. At the same time, he will identify the moment when you should start seeking for a promotion, even if you were not sure about that. And we believe that this is one of the most important services a mentor can offer.