Career development involves much more than improving your technical and job-related skills. It also involves developing many soft skills, a professional network, and your vision for your future.
Fortunately, working with a mentor is one of the best ways to do so. Here’s how mentorship could help you advance your career.
Excellent communication skills are an important competency you will need throughout your career. Even if you are extremely good at the technical aspects of your work, that simply isn’t sufficient. You must also learn to communicate effectively with superiors, stakeholders, colleagues, and clients.
A mentor can help you refine and develop your verbal and written skills so you can get your ideas and viewpoint across, clearly and effectively. They may encourage you to participate in a professional group or lead a meeting. This can help you fill skill gaps and strengthen your presence.
All professionals work with others, including solopreneurs. Collaboration is an essential skill whether you want to build a company or enjoy your job while working for others.
The mentor/mentee relationship is a simple form of teamwork. You define your goals and needs and the mentor suggests ways to attain them. Learning to work well with your mentor hones the skills you need in the workplace.
Viable solutions don’t come from arguments or complaints. It takes creativity, an open mind, and logical decision-making, especially if you want buy in from others.
Your mentor may want you to dig deeper for better solutions when you face a challenge. Your mentor may suggest another way to approach an issue too. Whether you decide to follow her advice is up to you. However, it is important you consider how she analyzed the problem objectively and why she came up with the approach she has suggested to you.
Mentorship offers the potential for significant learning in a compressed amount of time. It requires commitment, dedication, and reliability.
You set the goals and positive outcomes you would like to come from the relationship. You will need to stay organized, attend meetings fully-prepared, finish your tasks, and remain engaged and positive. Luckily, all these traits also make you more employable, likeable, and promotable.
Workplaces are constantly shifting and evolving. A mentor can teach you the importance of remaining nimble, resourceful, and positive.
Everyone faces adversity. Your mentor will share their experiences and how to reframe your challenges as opportunities. Your mentor can be particularly helpful for managing stress, avoiding burnout, and improving performance.
Your mentor already has plenty of experience and understands what it takes to lead. If you are aspiring for a higher rank, she can help you with confidence, motivational skills, and tailored advice.
For instance, you might fear of public speaking or have a difficult time directing others. A mentor can point you towards volunteer opportunities, workshops, books, podcasts, and classes to help you overcome your barriers.
A mentor can also be instrumental in growing your professional network by connecting you to organizational or industry peers you normally couldn’t access.
If you’re interested in mentorship, Kelowna Women in Business offers a mentorship program. Mentee commitment is 12 – 14 hours over a 12-week period. Please email for further information. Mentorship remains one of the most beneficial ways businesswomen can advance their career and their business.