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Sometimes, it’s who you know rather than what you know that makes a difference in your career or entrepreneurship journey. Through mentorship, junior-level employees and start-up entrepreneurs learn the appropriate skills and networks needed to excel in their respective fields. Here’s an all you need to know guide about mentorship programs and why they’re still relevant.
Mentors are the individuals that guide less experienced professionals through their career journey. Mentorships work best when the two individuals work in similar fields. Mentors can use their industry knowledge and experience to help mentees navigate uncertainties.
Mentees can connect with potential mentors through professional networking and personal mentorship programs. Below are reasons why mentorship is still important today.
1. Supports growth and development
Mentees gain expert advice on what they need to excel in their respective roles through mentorship. A mentor’s guidance helps mentees improve their skill set and gain industry knowledge which helps spur personal and professional development. Organizations can support staff development by implementing internal mentorship programs at the workplace. More importantly, junior employees are more likely to feel valued in organizations that invest in their professional development through mentee-mentor relationships.
2. Passing on industry knowledge
Mentees acquire important industry insights and business acumen they require to realize success through mentorships. Mentees learn how to execute their tasks efficiently and improve their workplace productivity. More importantly, mentors help junior staff settle in their roles much quicker. Mentorship programs help start-up entrepreneurs develop effective business plans and navigate many challenges start-ups face in their first months.
3. Offers constructive feedback
Though tough to take for most people, criticism is essential for achieving growth and success when chasing professional goals. While your colleagues may be hesitant to offer criticism, part of the mentor’s job is to provide constructive and relevant feedback to their mentees. A mentor’s experience and industry knowledge enable them to quickly identify mentee weaknesses and advice on the best way to overcome them.
4. Goal setting and accountability
Many junior employees and first-time entrepreneurs often struggle with goal setting and accountability. Mentors can help mentees set appropriate goals using the specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) criteria. Appropriate goal-setting enables the mentee to focus their efforts where they are most impactful.
Additionally, mentorship programs enhance accountability by helping mentees track their goal achievement status. A mentor’s influence is vital in helping mentees stay focused on the end goal.