Do you remember when you were first starting out in your industry? You were likely a little overwhelmed, trying to learn everything you could as quickly as possible to feel like a valuable contributor to the team. You probably asked many questions and felt like you would never catch up to those who had more experience than you did. You might also have approached someone you looked up to and asked them to provide you with insight and feedback in the form of a mentoring relationship.
Mentoring is a valuable tool for those who are looking to learn from others to help them progress in their careers. But what about the mentors themselves? What does providing insight and feedback offer to those in a mentor role?
An Ego Boost
Let’s be honest, having someone look up to you and respect you enough to want to learn from and spend time with you can be very flattering. A mentee will likely have many positive things to say about you and your career and hearing such praises can certainly heighten your self-esteem.
Another aspect of this is how mentees can provide some perspective on just how much you’ve accomplished in your career. Day-to-day work and shorter-term projects can sometimes prevent you from seeing the big picture in terms of how far you’ve come in your career since you first started out. Mentoring someone else can help you realize how much you’ve learned and achieved, as well as how much you have to teach others.
Read: “Mentors and Coaches, Pt. I” and “Mentors and Coaches, Pt. II” for more information on why mentors are important, and how they differ from coaches.
A Chance to Pass on Knowledge
Sharing your knowledge is one of the major reasons you should consider becoming a mentor. You gain a tremendous amount of experience and skills throughout your working life, and what good is it all, really, if you keep it to yourself and take it with you once you retire? Allowing others to benefit from your knowledge and passing the torch, so to speak, provides you with the opportunity to give back to your industry in a big way.
Mentoring is also an important strategy when it comes to retaining great employees, particularly millennials. Most employees want to receive feedback about how they’re performing and what they could do better. Providing such feedback can show that you value your team and can keep them invested and interested in the company.
Read: “How to be a Mentor that Makes a Difference” to learn more about how to be an effective mentor.
A Learning Opportunity
You might not have considered this, but did you know it’s possible to learn just as much as a mentor as it is to learn as a mentee? Having two-sided conversations with your mentee can actually help you see things from a new angle, and possibly teach you new things about your industry from someone who has recently learned the most up-to-date standards, strategies, and trends.
Mentoring also helps a mentor to strengthen or develop a variety of their own skills, including leadership, teaching, recruitment, and management. By providing feedback, helping to solve problems, and guiding a mentee on their career path, mentors learn more about themselves and their industry.
Read: “Mentoring Myths that are Hurting Your Finance Team” to learn what mentoring really offers and how to avoid falling for mentoring myths.
A Relationship-Building Experience
Relationships are just as important in the working world as they are in your personal life. Mentoring someone can offer a meaningful experience through building a relationship of trust and understanding. Helping someone to grow and succeed can be an extremely gratifying way to spend your time and knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life can leave you with a real sense of accomplishment.
You might also find that building a relationship with your mentee opens doors to new connections in your industry, and perhaps even in other industries. Chances are that your mentee can grow your network, just as you can grow theirs. This is another added bonus to doing meaningful mentor work.
Read: “Why Being A Mentor Is Worth The Effort” for insight into the effects of mentorship on a mentor’s career.
A Path to Further Success
Although mentoring is a volunteer-based activity that normally doesn’t provide monetary or career gains directly, there are often indirect effects that can benefit both mentors and mentees.
Sun Microsystems, an American computer company that compared the career progress of approximately 1,000 employees over a five-year period, found that mentoring had some significant effects on the careers of both mentors and mentees. Specifically:
- “Both mentors and mentees were approximately 20% more likely to get a raise than people who did not participate in the mentoring program.
- 25% of mentees and 28% of mentors received a raise – versus only 5% of managers who were not mentors.
- Employees who received mentoring were promoted five times more often than people who didn’t have mentors.
- Mentors were six times more likely to have been promoted.”
Read: “How Becoming A Mentor Can Boost Your Career” for more ways you can benefit from being a mentor.
Being a mentor can:
- Be a nice ego boost.
- Provide you with perspective on your own accomplishments and skills.
- Assist mentees and the company in general.
- Help retain employees, especially millennials.
- Make you feel good.
- Help you develop or strengthen your own skills.
- Teach you about yourself.
- Be a meaningful experience.
- Introduce you to new contacts in the industry or other industries.
- Sometimes lead to pay raises or promotions for mentors.
Your Next Step
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.
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