While young students and workers are lucky enough to be digital natives, Susan Lund of McKinsey & Company explains that people still need mentoring opportunities so they can experience greater growth within their chosen path. Unfortunately, fewer than half of Gen Z individuals ever had a mentor at work, and the disparity further increases amongst races.
Though it takes a lot of work to find a mentor, your effort will pay off once you find an individual that's invested in your growth. To illustrate, here’s what a good mentor can do for you:
Provide guidance for your goal setting
It’s normal for young students to feel confused about their direction in life. While this is only natural, a good mentor can provide you with support in this period and assist you in figuring out the best path for you.
The MCR Pathways programme shows that having a mentor can be transformative. 81.6% of their students were able to go to university or find a job after experiencing one-on-one mentoring. The majority of the mentees live in the 20% most deprived communities in Scotland, but thanks to the programme, they were able to discuss their career plans and map out their personal goals with a more experienced professional.
Keep you focused and accountable for your goals
Mentors don’t just help you figure out your goals. Since they're invested in your growth, they can also aid you in achieving them.
It can be difficult to keep yourself in check, which is why our article on the ‘4 Practical Tips to Manage Stress During Exam Season’ suggests that you get an accountability partner for your goals. To illustrate, you can share your weekly study goals with your mentor, so that they can check up on your progress and point out your areas of improvement afterwards. By working together with your mentor, you can be more responsible and focused on what you want to achieve.
Enhance your professional development
By supporting you in your goal-setting process, your mentor can set you up for success and help you develop your professional skills.
Aside from helping you in your studies, LHH’s article on providing mentorship opportunities highlights that mentees are five times more likely to be promoted than their colleagues. Both mentors and mentees also have a 20% higher retention rate than their counterparts, which is why mentoring is becoming a top career development priority for leaders. You too can experience these professional milestones, especially if you have a mentor that can widen your professional network and improve your skill sets needed for promotion.
Give honest feedback about your performance
Mentors can help you achieve great success in school and in your career because they can monitor your progress and provide unbiased feedback about your performance.
Though constant feedback may sound overwhelming, a study on ‘Mentoring and Coaching as a Learning Technique in Higher Education’ revealed that 44% of mentees extremely agreed about the importance of continuous feedback. In fact, these mentees stated that the comments encouraged them to focus on their action plans and work on their academic and personal goals. Through the guidance of your own mentor, you can have a better understanding of the gaps within your performance so that you can get one step closer to your own goals.
It's always great to have a solid support system in school and at work. With the right mentor, you can find the best direction for your future and get a head start in achieving your dreams.