The Top 9 Best Reasons To Get A Mentor For Professional GrowthMentoring Best Practices
If you're like a majority of the world, there is a good chance that you don't have a mentor right now and are not even considering entering into such a relationship shortly. Yet athletes have mentors, actors have mentors, and business leaders have mentors. Why not technology professionals?
Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider finding a mentor.
- Helps in finding the right path
Sometimes you may put off answering some questions just because you can. You will do this mainly for questions where you know the answers are not pretty. By postponing asking the hard questions, you are not solving any problem; you are just avoiding the short-term pain. Your mentor may not be so friendly to you. They have no problem asking those hard questions and prompting you to start doing something about it.
- Teaches to learn and reflect
A mentor does not have an alternate plan except to help you make the most of yourself. Therefore, you never have to worry about any other side effects as you discuss your life and work issues. That in itself will let you open up and reflect on things at a level that you have never seen before.
- Helps in discovering the "real" problem
We may persist in tinkering with symptoms rather than addressing the root issues. When we discuss a problem with our mentor, we almost always solve something else: the "real" problem. As a result, we can address the symptoms we were initially aiming to address.
- Reduces "short-term thinking"
To stay in the race in the technology world, you have little choice but to be "current buzz-word compatible." It means that you have to be running (hard) to stay where you are. While this is great for short-term success, you can't ignore your long-term goals. Your mentor may help you balance the time you spend between short-term and long-term goals.
- Helps in "responsible" alternate perspective
You may have other avenues where you can get alternate perspectives on a particular topic or issue. However, when a mentor provides feedback, a dose of responsibility comes packaged with it. In other words, your mentor has a higher stake in the outcome than your peers and friends do.
- Get into the "thinking" habit
Every hour I spend with my mentors, my thinking will go to overdrive mode. You might get carried away in daily life and practice "thinking on the go," meaning you will think while you are engaged in doing something else. Mentoring will put a stop to that and start you on a "thinking" path. I am sure none of us will argue on the importance of the need to think.
- Prepares to welcome new possibilities
While everyone around you may be trying to "fix" things with you, your mentor will look at how you can capitalize on your strengths. Rarely can you claim to be aware of all your strength? Even if you do, you may not be making the most of them. A mentor can work with you to ensure that you are spending most of your time in the areas of your strengths and also take care of other things (where you are not that good) by putting a suitable structure in place.
- Teaches to be in balance
Mahatma Gandhi said, "One man cannot do right in one department of life while he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole." While you may know this, being in the technology world, the chances are that you may be neglecting several other parts of your life. With the help of your mentor, you can live a more productive life.
- Helps to distinguish
Unless you distinguish yourself, you will be part of the commodity crowd. Not doing anything about it will only erode your value in the marketplace. Differentiating yourself is a journey and not a destination. What is remarkable today will no longer be special tomorrow. Your mentor can act as a catalyst here to help you rise above the commodity crowd quickly. If you are intelligent and disciplined, with or without a mentor, you may succeed. Why not increase your odds by engaging with a mentor?
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