Have you ever thought about mentoring someone? Embarking on a journey with a mentee will enormously benefit not only them, but also yourself. But how does one actually become a mentor? What are the things you need to consider beforehand, how do you choose the right mentoring program and what benefits can you expect from the experience? Read on to find out all the answers to these questions.
Have the motivation to invest time to help someone
One very important factor to consider is the time invested into sessions with your mentee. Ask yourself whether you’re really willing to make this commitment. Also, what kind of experience do you expect from the time spent? What is your motivation to mentor someone? Are you looking to share your experience and want to watch a less experienced person learn and grow with your help? If the answer is yes, you most likely have the right motivation to be a great mentor.
Before signing up as a mentor, keep the aforementioned questions in mind. Time investment and specific motivations may be an important factor in choosing the right program, so it’s best to begin your journey with a clear idea in mind.
Know what mentoring is
Not only mentees, but also many mentors sign up for the experience without being fully aware of what mentoring is really about. If you’re a bit unsure of what to expect, here are a few important points to keep in mind. In other words, mentoring is:
- facilitating self-learning,
- helping your mentee find a solution,
- inspiring your mentee through sharing experiences,
- supporting and encouraging your mentee.
Know what mentoring isn’t
Problems can arise when both mentors and mentees begin their journey with the wrong expectations. Not getting what you expected can be disappointing, so to avoid that, it’s equally important to clearly outline what mentoring isn’t:
- telling your mentee what to do,
- taking responsibility for your mentee’s goals and their fulfillment of them,
- guiding someone without clearly set goals; if the mentee is unsure of what they wish to achieve, the mentor can help them think about and define these points,
- being someone who your mentee can blame for their missteps and mistakes.
Choose the right program
Do you have a specific idea about what kind of guidance you could give your mentee, who you want your mentee to be and how much time you’re willing to invest into the journey? Then it’s time to pick a program! Here are a few options to consider for mentors.
Femme Palette is a global community that helps (not only) women advance in their careers by connecting them with like-minded mentors and offering resources for professional development. Mentors from a wide variety of fields with 5+ years of experience are welcome to join and will be matched with mentees who will benefit the most from their mentor’s expertise. The Femme Palette Mentoring program gives you 12 one-on-one sessions with your mentee over the course of 6 months, as well as some great networking opportunities.
We’ve all had times during our student days when we’ve felt uncertain and in need of guidance. How about changing that experience for someone else? These days, you will find that many universities offer mentoring programs as a bonus for their students. Getting in touch with your alma mater (or any other university) and offering to share your experience and skills as a mentor could really help someone who is struggling to fulfill their goals.
Appreciate the benefits of mentoring
A good mentoring program should benefit not only the mentee, but also the mentor. These benefits go far beyond simply having something good-looking on your CV. Mentoring someone can also give you a motivation boost to focus on your own goals, provide you with a fresh point of view, as well as improve your leadership and communication skills. Not sure whether you have the confidence and skills to take on that management role you’ve been offered? Mentoring someone might be just what’s needed to convince you that you have all it takes!
If you’re considering becoming a mentor, it’s therefore important to think about what time spent with your mentee can also do for you. When mentors reminisce about their experience, they speak of how mentoring someone has also helped them in building their own confidence, dealing with insecurities, not to mention having the rewarding feeling of seeing their mentee grow.
To summarize, mentoring someone is a truly enriching experience and it’s up to you to choose the perfect program which will benefit you the most. However, it’s important to know what to expect from the experience, as well as what not to expect. Do you feel like you’d make a good mentor with us at Femme Palette? Come sign up and join us!
Interested in becoming a mentor but not sure if you have what it takes? Take our specially designed Mentor quiz to find out if you have it in you. It's quick and fun!