Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Making a positive difference in a young person's life can be extremely rewarding emotionally. When you take on the role of a mentor, you get to do just that, sharing your expertise and experience to help another individual. However, if you're new to mentorship, you may be wondering how it works—and where to get started. This guide provides additional information about what mentorship requires and why it's so valuable and gives you some practical tips to get started.
Recognize the value of mentoring others
Becoming a mentor isn't just emotionally rewarding. It also offers tangible benefits for your career. Your experience as a mentor will allow you to improve your leadership, management, and interpersonal skills. Mentoring is also a practical way to grow your professional network and boost your profile and that of your organization. Finally, keep in mind that the people you mentor now may be future leaders of tomorrow. You are making valuable contacts who could one day be influential in your field, even if they're just starting out now.
Understand what it takes to be a good mentor
Being a good mentor requires strong interpersonal and leadership skills. You have to be able to empathize and connect with the person you're mentoring. Good listening skills are also important. Finally, it's critical that you're able to offer constructive feedback. You want to be able to help people and guide their path without offending them. This article provides additional tips on how to be a good mentor, including how to offer constructive feedback. For example, asking questions that stem from a place of genuine curiosity is often a good start.
Master the soft skills required for mentorship
Mentorship is largely about sharing your concrete experiences and industry knowledge. However, it also requires some essential soft skills. Listening, communication, and empathy are important. Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient, EQ, is also critical. According to Edgecumbe, EQ is generally helpful in the working world. It allows people to be better leaders. To develop EQ, you need to focus on key points like self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Look for opportunities to mentor others
There are many opportunities to mentor young people, for example, through your local church or school. There are also nonprofits devoted to supporting young people that offer mentoring opportunities. For example, Forever Young People is a teenage mentoring program in Hertfordshire. You can also find people looking for mentors at industry conferences and professional events. Finally, online networks like LinkedIn and Meet A Mentor are great ways to connect with people in your field who may be seeking guidance.
Consider getting a job that allows you to serve as a mentor
If you discover that you really love mentoring, you may want to make a career of it. You can find charitable jobs that involve mentoring via online platforms. When applying for a job as a mentor, make sure to create a tailored CV and cover letter. You should share these documents as PDFs when applying, creating the most professional appearance. If you create the document as a Google Doc first, you can quickly save it as a PDF to convert your Google Doc using this handy tutorial.
Mentorship can be a wonderful way to expand your horizons and gain emotional satisfaction. It also offers practical benefits for your career, from helping you to expand your network to allowing you to connect with future business leaders. In the UK, there are many nonprofits that allow you to meet teens and other young people seeking guidance. The above guide offers some ideas to help.
For more content about mentorship and helping young people, check out the blog.