A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. A mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources.
A good mentor possesses the following qualities:
Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise. ...
Demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role model. ...
Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship. ...
Exhibits enthusiasm in the field. ...
Values ongoing learning and growth in the field.
Benefits of having a mentor:
Advice: The biggest benefit of having a mentor is having someone you can ask questions and get advice from. Mentors can share a wealth of wisdom and insight on best practices in the work place, protocols and appropriate behaviours.
Networking: Forming a relationship with a mentor opens doors to other groups. It will give you the opportunity to get personal introductions to your mentor’s contacts which may have taken your mentor years to establish.
Encouragement: You could describe a mentor as a professional cheerleader for your career. It is likely that your mentor has experienced similar successes and challenges that you will encounter at the start of your career. By sharing how they overcame their challenges, mentors can encourage you to reach the finish line and to keep pursuing your goals.
Perspective: Through their diverse experiences, mentors may offer a perspective and vision that is different to your own. They will ask questions that may not occur to you, but are as critically important for solving a problem or planning your career.
Reduced feelings of isolation: Having someone outside of your direct working environment that you can ask questions, bounce ideas with and confide in, will help to create a sense of peer partnership that may not always be available in your workplace.
Accountability: A good mentor will provide you with honest feedback and hold you accountable to your career goals.
Career planning: As a mentee, you can sit down with your mentor to set long term goals and strategically plan out the next steps to reach your career objectives.
Confidence and talent development: A mentor who has expertise in your field will be able to identify your strengths and talents and offer suggestions on how you can further develop them and grow professionally. This is guaranteed to boost your confidence and work performance!