John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
In a world of disruptive technologies, new media and innovative work practices, mentoring can seem old hat. But to think about mentoring as an out of date concept is to misunderstand and overlook its potential and power. Mentoring is very much a present-day phenomenon, and many successful people such as: Kevin Spacey and Stephen Berg, the CFO of TD Bank Group to name a few, attribute some of their success to using a mentor.
So, what is a mentoring relationship and what can it do for you?
Simply put, a mentor is a more experienced person who coaches another person (mentee) to help them develop as a person and as a professional. Individuals at all stages of a career can benefit from a mentor; particularly when facing challenging circumstances which require good judgment and decision making.
Mentoring should not be thought of as a lightweight career management tool. It’s actually proven to be quite a potent career acceleration tool. As evidence, take the findings of a 5 year longitudinal career progression study by Sun Microsystems of over 1,000 employees, which looked at the benefits of being mentored in terms of career development. The two most eye opening advantages revealed by the study were:
- Mentored employees were 20% more likely to receive a raise than workers who did not use their mentoring scheme.
- Employees who were mentored were promoted 5 times more often than workers who did not use a mentor.
Mentors can help to accelerate your career by driving you out of your comfort zone, helping you to grow your network, take appropriate risks and improve your judgment and decision making.
If you want to accelerate your career, your company’s mentoring program is a great tool. If your practice doesn’t have a mentoring process, perhaps you can find your own mentor via your Linked-In network or through a local business group. You’ll discover that many mentors are prepared to be involved because it builds their own professional self-esteem through validation of their experience, and because someone may have once mentored them.
Good luck with developing your career!