On the path of career development, you are likely to be your most valuable asset. That doesn’t make you superman. Anybody – anybody – could use someone who is even a fraction as invested in them as they are in themselves. Anybody could use a mentor. Let’s take a look at some reasons why.
1) Invested interest in your advancement
In any business, someone has probably gone above and beyond to prove that they can handle more, but they can’t be moved because there’s nobody to take their place. That’s where mentoring gains a lot of strength. Someone developing their replacement so they can advance their own career will make sure you’re doing the best job you can do.
2) Focus on the job at hand
Companies give the most attention to the people doing their assigned work at an exceptional level. If you want to be the CEO of the Fortune 500 company you work for, that’s awesome, but it can be easy to act too big. A mentor helps keep you in check. They are there to help you do YOUR job so well that you have free-time to help in and learn other areas of the business. That’s how you earn promotions!
Growing your career is full of dodgy decisions. Asking for raises, proposing new policies, accepting or rejecting promotions, implementing solutions, it doesn’t end. It can be easy to feel doubtful in yourself about these things but you would hate to seem incompetent in these responsibilities. A mentor gives you a safe place to contemplate out loud and a point of view that can only come with the years they have put into the craft.
4) Desire to be at work
Problems you don’t know how to solve and things you don’t know how to do can build anxiety that makes work seem like a graveyard polluted with the souls of those who fell before you and you won’t want to be there. Luckily, a mentor has already dealt with those problems. When you have that kind of advantage in your corner, you can spend time with beneficial stress, the kind that makes you feel accomplished.
5) A sense of loyalty
There’s a classical image of a high-profile corporate head who has been with their company for decades standing at a podium at their retirement party giving their “going away” speech. All of their coworkers give a standing ovation and there’s an expensive watch involved. Que heartstrings. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to, and for good reason. When a company treats you as replaceable you feel a lack of loyalty, so you don’t give them any loyalty. When the company values someone and they take their time to expose you to years of experience and expertise, you feel like you belong there.